*Now you know that anytime a convicted criminal asks the court to keep him in jail because his sentence was “too lenient,” the court needs to listen. The man making the request had killed a retired librarian as he sped away from police in hot pursuit. Now, per his request and explanation that the plea deal offered by prosecutors was too lenient he will spend more time behind bars.
Joshua Brazeal, his family members and the loved ones of the 79-year-old woman he killed all agreed that he deserved a harsher sentence.
Brazeal was speeding away from police on August 19 when he accidentally crashed his stolen car into the vehicle belonging to Geraldine Strader, a longtime Kansas City librarian. Strader, a pillar of the community, succumbed to her injuries.
Surprisingly, Wyandotte County Judge Bill Klapper rejected the original 41-month deal offered by prosecutors and increased Brazeal’s punishment to 78 months. Even more surprising, Brazeal’s family and Geraldine Strader’s family comforted each other during Friday’s emotional sentencing.
The victim’s daughter, Kathleen Brandt, was not happy with the DA’s office, and told the local CBS affiliate:
“How in the world can a criminal with this kind of an impressive criminal record…can even he recognize there is nothing fair about this,” Geraldine’s daughter Kathleen said. “What I’m left with is our judicial system seems to be broken. How did an assistant DA analyze these charges, including all of the charges they chose not to bring forth, how did they analyze that and agree to a 41-month agreement in the first place?”
“I knew it wasn’t right. I knew that Josh has been let off so easily. This had to stop. This had to end. I had to say something to get him the help he needs,” Brazeal’s sister Laura said. “What he did was wrong. He needs to face it like a man, stand up, and no longer be the victim. He is not a victim. Drug addicts are not victims they are users,” Laura Brazeal concluded.
Kathleen Brandt said, “My mother would say put him away until he learns. I’m hoping those six and half years are long enough for him to learn,” Kathleen Brandt said.