A Virginia man convicted of reckless driving in a 2016 crash that killed a 5-month-old boy in a stroller was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail.
On Aug. 31, 2016, John Miller IV was driving north about 8:10 a.m. on Coton Manor Drive in the Lansdowne area of Loudoun County when he made a left onto Riverside Parkway. He struck Tristan Schulz, who was in a stroller being pushed by his mother, Mindy Schulz, in a crosswalk.
Tristan was killed, and his mother, who had just dropped off her 7-year-old son at school, was injured.
On Thursday, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Douglas L. Fleming sentenced Miller to 12 months in jail, suspended his license for 12 months and fined him $2,500 for reckless driving and $250 for failure to yield.
Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman said in a statement that the Schulz family is happy for closure in a case that "left everyone with the feeling of helplessness."
"There is no celebrating for the Schulz family today," he said. "They are just happy that there is finally accountability for Tristan's death, but they're not celebrating."
Miller tried to avoid jail time. In a brief filed Jan. 19, the 47-year-old golf instructor requested probation, a fine and community service. The brief noted that he is the sole caretaker of his wife, who was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm shortly after their marriage in 2008, and that he also cares for his father, who has cancer.
"We are disappointed with the judge's decision, but, of course, as officers of the court, we are bound to respect it," said Miller's attorney, Steven T. Webster.
Miller's brief noted that he wasn't intoxicated, remained on the scene and was not on his phone when he struck the Schulzes. Prosecutors dropped an involuntary manslaughter charge in September.
Mindy Schulz said after the 2016 incident that "it hurts at a level so visceral, so primal, that just surviving the pain and darkness of that loss feels insurmountable."
The year-long sentence was the maximum time available to the judge.