I locked myself in my room and wrote the letter and what I wanted to say at the sentencing the day before I had the triplets. I knew I had to, for after having a baby I'm completely brain dead for an entire year. It took me 3 hours and I left out a lot. I wanted them to hear how this had effected us. The trial process is all about the defendant and the sentencing is all about the victims. So it was our time to speak our pain.
I didn't expect to get to finally hear the evidence that we did. The prosecutor Sandi (who is the best of the best) spoke first and here are some of the key points that I can remember:
*It was found that his vehicle was traveling 78 mph (not 60 mph like we originally guessed), uphill and his foot never came off the gas pedal.
*The state of Utah had tried to rehabilitate him at least 6 times. It was documented that one of the times he didn't show up for detox he told his probation officer that he wouldn't go because, "he didn't want to be in there with all the drunks and heroine addicts". Many many failed urine tests where before taking them he said he was clean and upon failing them he would admit his use.
*His cell phone that he allegedly had dropped on the floor and was allegedly the cause of the accident was actually found in the center console of his Suburban.
*The toxicologists can actually pinpoint if he was actually "high" on Meth or not at the time of the accident. There are active substances found in the blood and they can pinpoint his usage within hours. It does stay in your system for 1-3 days after your last usage in a urine test but a blood test is more accurate. So HE WAS ACTUALLY HIGH ON METH WHEN HE HIT US.
*There was a long history of lies and more lies told by Ainsworth.
*His Mom called the prosecutor a few days before the sentencing saying that she'd given him some Sudafed (Christmas Eve) that he reminded her of and that this was all her fault. I believe his Mother has truly believed every lie he has told her his entire life. Here is some of his families statements that I copied from this news story (click here to read it):
After the sentence was pronounced, Ainsworth's daughter Amy yelled, "I love you, dad," before running out of the courtroom.
"I feel for (the Pack) family," daughter Sierra Ainsworth, 28, said after the hearing with tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Losing her would kill me," she said, referring to her 1-year-old daughter who she was holding in her arms.
The Packs lost a son, she said, and now she has lost her father. She takes her daughter to visit her grandfather once a month. He has never held her, she said, and now he never will.
Judy Rhees, Ainsworth's mother, said she never expected her son to receive a sentence of up to 45 years behind bars.
"I can't imagine losing a child, but this is going to be hell," she said.
********************************************I think a lot of his families statements speak for themselves. Since the beginning I predicted a Co-dependant Mother and her drug addict son. I know that may sound harsh but I was right. I haven't experienced having a child with a drug problem and I pray that I never have to. Up until the accident that was my very worst fear, now it is my second. I can empathize with Mother's and family members who are going through this as I think most people can. But the truth is the Mother's and the family members also need to seek help. Addiction effects the entire family.
Co-dependency is also an addiction, an illness, a disease.
As hard as it is you have to break free of the cycle and get professional help for yourself and help on how to handle these types of situations. It's all to easy to try and baby your addict child to compensate for your own pain and guilt. It doesn't make you a bad parent or mean that you love your child any less if you make a change, see it for what it is, and learn how to change the situation.
I'm very passionate about this subject, especially now. Please if you are a parent or a family member of an addict and find yourself enabling the situation in any way please get help. You can't change them. But by handling it the right way you won't be making easier for them any longer. There's usually a lot of manipulation and lies involved and it's time to wake up and see it for what it is.
I know it's not easy but please be honest with yourself, it may prevent another tragedy like ours.
Most addicts have a victim mentality. They are good at playing the victim to justify their behavior. This is why I refuse to be a victim and why I am choosing to be a survivor. I refuse to live my life that way...REFUSE! That's no way to honor Colum. I honor him by moving forward and by trying to live happily and I'm doing my best everyday. I'm still sad, it will never go away. But I'm honoring him.
I love you Colum! We did it!
***if anyone has any personal stories about how they have overcome addiction or enabling an addict please share below! let us support each other through and be open about this problem. if you've been through this and conquered it, I am so proud of you!