MARKHAM | A 34-year-old man facing significant prison time for an auto accident that killed a native of Crown Point tried offering an apology Thursday to the man’s family.
“I know you all make me out to be a monster, but I’m not a monster,” said Delaney Jarvis, a Chicago native found guilty last year of leaving the scene of the accident on June 11, 2011, in south suburban Olympia Fields. The accident killed Shane Kreke, an alumnus of Lake Central High School who lived in southwest suburban Mokena at the time of his death.
“Sorry for your folks’ loss. Bless you,” Jarvis told the Kreke family, who were in the courtroom to see the sentencing and were wearing buttons depicting Shane Kreke's picture.
Not that they were swayed. Nor were prosecutors who called for significant prison time for Jarvis, nor Cook County Judge Frank Zelezinski, who on Thursday imposed a 19-year prison term for Jarvis, whose own family and friends burst into hysterics upon hearing the sentence.
Zelezinski could have sentenced Jarvis to as little as a six-year prison term. But he said Jarvis’ past criminal record of five felony convictions, including assorted drug offenses, made him believe that Jarvis was not a likely prospect for rehabilitation.
“I really do not see a sense of rehabilitation in you,” the judge told Jarvis just before imposing sentence.
Shane Kreke’s father, brother and wife all testified on Thursday as to how much of a loss his death was to their lives, with spouse Christine Kreke calling Jarvis a “coward” who said she thought anything less than the maximum prison term would be “devastating” to her.
Jarvis was found guilty last year of the criminal charge, where prosecutors said he drove a Kia sedan through the right lane to make a right turn, causing a motorcycle ridden by Shane Kreke to crash into the vehicle. Shane Kreke died three days later from his injuries.
Prosecutors said Jarvis was driving on a suspended license at the time, and drove away from the scene; telling one person who witnessed the accident, “I don’t care,” when confronted with the fact that Kreke suffered serious injuries.
Kreke’s father, Timothy, said he considers Jarvis “callous,” and said he has nightmares, “about having this individual on the streets.”
But Jarvis’ attorney, David McDermott, tried arguing that the crime at the base of the conviction related to an auto accident, and was not an intentional act on Jarvis’ part.
Also testifying on his part were several women with whom Jarvis either had children or helped care for their kids.
His sister, Leticia, who had to be told by Zelezinski to relax when she became hysterical while testifying, tried offering her own apology to the Kreke family, particularly with regard to the notion that her brother did not care about Shane Kreke's death.
“I care. My whole family cares. We care,” Leticia Jarvis said. “I apologize for everything.”