Justin Draper Gets Six Months' Jail in '06 Collision That Killed Three Teens; Mom of One Victim Finds Forgiveness in Heart

Categories: Crime Blotter

Justin Draper will serve six months in jail for his role in a September 2006 collision near Tatum Boulevard and Bell Road that left three teens dead

Perhaps it was seeing Justin Draper's 1-year-old boy scream for his daddy in the courtroom.


Or that four years have gone by.


Or maybe even that "angels were in the room."


Whatever it was, something changed in Jane Draycott's heart on Friday during Draper's sentencing hearing. And it happened right in the middle of her speech before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville.


Draycott, a Houston firefighter, was as bitter and angry as ever about the September 24, 2006 collision near Bell Road and Tatum Boulevard when she flew here with her husband last week for the hearing.


Draper had been driving that fateful night. Police say he was going at least 70 mph in a 45 mph zone when a Jeep Cherokee turned in front of him. The crash brought utter carnage: Among the dead were Draycott's 17-year-old daughter, Amanda Jane Franklin, who'd been riding with Draper, and two teens in the Cherokee, Michael Foley, 18, and Foley's 15-year-old girlfriend, Jelena Nokeo.

draycott jane 1.jpg
Jane Draycott
​Draper, then 18, and another of his teenage passengers, Brittany Micko, were hurt badly (but have since healed.)
Prosecutors didn't bring charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault against Draper for three years, causing anguish for the victims' families.

In August, Draycott made headlines in Texas after being picked up for shoplifting at a Walmart while in uniform. She said she was drunk and "out of her head," having just been told by a Maricopa prosecutor that Draper had pleaded guilty and might not receive any prison time.

Just prior to the hearing, Draycott met with Aaron Harder, the deputy county attorney in the case, and was "adamant" that he push for at least one year for each dead teen. When it came Draycott's turn to stand before the judge on Friday, she intended to argue the same.

Yet after describing her daughter to the court, something happened, Draycott says. She found the forgiveness that had been missing these past four years.

"I looked at Justin and said 'I'll never know the grandchildren that Amanda would have given me, and I won't get to see her through her milestones. But you know what? I can't do this. I can't allow your children to be without their father. I can't ask for the judge to take you from your family.' And I told the judge, I don't want him to go to jail.'"

Granville could have given Draper up to 11 years. Instead, he sentenced Draper to six months in jail and four years' probation. He'll be allowed a work furlough, but will spend the holidays in jail. After he gets out, he's supposed to spend time talking to groups of high school students about the tragedy and how it occurred.

In forgiving Draper, Draycott says she feels like a "new person." And today -- no kidding -- we could hear it in her voice. She sounds stronger and more together than in previous conversations we've had with her. Maybe there is something to that whole forgiveness thing.

We're pretty sure not everyone feels the same way as Draycott, though. She says the families of other victims were upset at Draper's sentence -- which, to be frank, we find more understandable than Draycott's epiphany.


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9 comments
Jelena's Sister
Jelena's Sister

Jelena, who was actually 16 not 15 and three months shy of her 17th b-day, was my sister. I was actually unaware for the last four years that Justin was still alive. By the time I even found out what was going on I had about a month before the sentencing. I went over what I was going to say for the whole time that I kept thinking about going to the sentencing. I didn't think that I was going to forgive him, I mean my sister had to lose out on so much life because he decided to be such a wreckless... Anyway, I found a way to forgive him, because I realized that if I held on to the hate, it would eat away at me and create a hostile life for myself more than it would for him. I must admit I was quite shocked that he only got 6 months and could even be out now, but it is what it is. Hopefully, he has actually learned from this tragedy and will teach others about it and prevent future tragedies.

alehound
alehound

SIX months?? I got six months for a minor crime a few years ago. I hope he never makes it out of jail. Whatta Douchebag.

Jdraycott
Jdraycott

Ghost from Christmas past. I had written a post and I thought it would go on here but it seems it went to you only. Is there any way you can copy and paste it on here? Thanks JD

Jdraycott
Jdraycott

Funnybones you have no Idea what happened that day. I did not intend to take anything from that store without paying for it. I was distracted thinking about everything regarding my child. I did not conceal anything. It was in my basket. I don't know what Ray Sterns motive was to bring that up . It has nothing to do with what happened Oct 15th in court.I had posted a long blog explaining exactly what happened but it went to Ghost from Christmas past by accident. I hope he will read this and copy and paste it to this blog. Coop I am so sorry for the loss of your son. My thoughts are with you.Jane Draycott

Ghost From Christmas Past
Ghost From Christmas Past

On December 11, 1985, my wife's beloved first born son, Clark, was killed in a very violent traffic accident on Interstate 5 at Crown Valley Pwy. in So. California. That crash killed Clark but the devastation was far from over. So many people left behind that were touched by his loss. My wife ? She was destroyed.I was young then, and married to her for only six months. The feeling of consummate loss was so crippling that it governed her thoughts and actions in detriment to the other four kids who were much younger than Clark and still needed her.The nights spent awake in mutual conversation with Clark. The intermittent and inconsolable periods of tears that might last hours or days.She once asked me when this hurt would stop. In response I said to her these words: "It's not supposed to. The terrible sadness you carry in your heart is your tribute to someone who meant so much to you in life. But to let that sadness consume you will only diminish the tribute, and eventually destroy not only his memory but you as well".That comment seemed to work... for awhile. My wife later committed suicide. For her the pain was too deep. For Jane Draycott the pain has been vanquished. For Jane Draycott the memory of her lost child will remain in her heart but in a more positive way.Whatever happened that day in court was a good thing. I wish her well always

To "funny bones"
To "funny bones"

You're such a worthless piece of shit. By the way... what color trash are you ???

Coop
Coop

You've obviously never suffered a complete traumatic event in your life. Count yourself blessed. The arrest, to me, sounds like she had reached her rock bottom of her life. Having lost a son myself, I know the utter despair and sadness (I have never been arrested). This is a beautiful story of redemption and finding yourself after loss. May god continue to bless you so that you will not know the pain of such a loss.

funny bones
funny bones

I was going with Jane Draycott all the way until the line where she was picked up for shoplifting at Wal-Mart. Sad, woman. Sad. I can see how white trash forgives white trash now.

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