AKRON, OH – A Summit County judge found a Tallmadge man guilty of driving drunk, causing a crash that killed Patricia Powell, 17, of Akron.
"We left balloons at her grave and she should have been there."
Kate Grady says her niece was supposed to graduate from Ellet High School in Akron Monday. Instead, there are tears for a life taken too soon at the hands of a drunk driver.
There's also anger, because she says the man who took Powell’s life, Charles Queer, Jr., 64, gave no apology during a plea hearing.
Grady says, "I was hoping to see some kind of remorse and I saw nothing."
Queer pleaded no contest to two felony counts of aggravated vehicle homicide and one misdemeanor count of operating under the influence of alcohol.
He was driving drunk back in March of 2016, when he crashed into the back of a vehicle, killing Powell.
The high school junior was waiting for help in the eastbound lanes I-76 in Akron after having car trouble.
Queer's attorney says even though Queer is pleading no contest to the charges, he is not denying guilt.
Mike Callahan adds, "We actually stood up and said at sentencing we're accepting full responsibility."
Kate Grady now wears a necklace with her niece's name on the front and fingerprint on the back.
And even more than a year after her death, she says it doesn't get any easier.
"She walked into a room and she speaks to you and just radiated with love."
Sentencing for Charles Queer, Jr. is set for July 26. He faces up to eight years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.