Snohomish County, WA – A 17-year old Burlington Teen was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 for the April 25th death of Riley Conard. Conard died and his wife and two children were injured after the teen crashed her vehicle into Conard’s Truck at the intersection of Pulver Road and State Route 11, commonly known as Chuckanut Drive in Skagit County. The Conard Family had been returning home from a local retailer after picking up some last minute birthday items for one of their two boys when the crash occurred. A blood test confirmed the teen had marijuana in her system at the time of the crash.
The teen had previously turned herself in to Juvenile Detention and pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide while under the influence for the death of Riley Conard and one count of vehicular assault while under the influence for causing Injury to at least one passenger in Conard’s truck.
The Court Case had to be moved from Skagit County to Snohomish County to avoid any conflicts of Interest, because the teens family members have previously worked in the Skagit County Court System and at least one family member is a current member of Law Enforcement in Skagit County.
The Conard Family and several friends have attended previous court hearing wearing custom made T-Shirts that read #JusticeForRiley after feeling the teen was not accepting responsibility for her actions or showing any remorse in the death of Riley. At yesterday’s court hearing, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Joseph Wilson sentenced the girl to the maximums allowed under state law for a minor. The girl was sentenced to serve between 15 and 36 weeks in Juvenile Detention for the vehicular homicide charge and an additional thirty days for the vehicular assault charge with credit given for the fifty four days she has already spent in Juvenile Detention.
The Victims sister, Amy Conard said “The (actual) sentencing is now decided by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, which will be decided in the next couple weeks. The reason for the court hearing today was for the Judge to decide if he wanted her to get the 15-36 weeks plus 30 days or a lower sentencing range. The Judge decided on the maximum sentencing range because she still has a life ahead of her and Riley’s was cut short because of her.”
In her statement to the court, the girl said she will have feelings of sorrow and remorse for the rest of her life. “I would do anything to change what happened. The truth is, I’ll be released at some point, but I’ll never be released from my remorse,” she said. The teen continued that she hoped to be released by January of 2020 so she could attend college and become a contributing member of society. The Judge agreed that this would be a good way for her to celebrate Riley’s Life.
Suzanne Conard, Riley’s wife, spoke at the hearing on behalf of herself and her two young sons that were in the truck at the time of the crash. “On April 25th, our world crashed down around us, literally. We lost our best friend, our provider and our future. Instead of celebrating a birthday, I had to tell the boys, their father was dead. No little boy should have to live that, No Little boy should have to live this nightmare.” Conard, visibly emotional, told the court, “Before Tuesday she didn’t know what she would say to the girl at her sentencing. Conard said she was filled with anger and hate. However, she forgave the girl and hugged the girls mother after the sentencing.
Suzanne later wrote on Facebook “Today I forgave the girl who killed Riley. I did it for the boys and for myself. If I were to continue to hold on to the hate and the anger that I had for her I would end up making myself even more crazy. I would never be able to move forward and I would endlessly focus on the negatives in everything. Riley never held grudges long, he always gave second and third and forth-fifth chances. He wouldn’t want me to dwell on this, he wouldn’t want me to drag the boys down with my anger and sadness. I know a lot of people don’t agree with me and I “made them nauseas” for hugging (the teens mom), but I didn’t do it for anyone buy myself. There will never be enough justice for killing Riley. So the only way I could find peace with this life is if I forgave her. Hate me, say I gave up on Riley, say I never loved him, say whatever you want. I know he is okay with what I did. He knows I am trying.”
Watch the Kiro 7 Video News Story on the Sentencing by clicking here.