On a chain around her neck, Louise Hieber wears her late husband's wedding band and the cross her daughter Holly was wearing the night she was killed.
It was on her neck in a Chicago courtroom Thursday when a Cook County prosecutor asked the Schererville resident how many children she had.
“None right now,” Louise said, putting her hand to her mouth and starting to shake as she spoke.
On Thursday, a Cook County judge found Osvaldo Salazar of Chicago, guilty of involuntary manslaughter, concealing a homicide and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in Holly's death. She was 26.
Salazar shot Hieber on July 10, 2011, in what his his attorneys called an accident but Judge James B. Linn ruled was manslaughter.
“I can think of few things more reckless, careless, wanton and brazen,” Linn said of Salazar's decision to show off a loaded gun at a party.
Holly Hieber and several other people were in Salazar's garage that night when he brought out his gun. After Hieber was shot, Salazar hid the gun and lied to police.
“Everyone in the garage agreed to say it was a drive-by shooting,” Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Lynott testified, reading from a witness statement.
That night, Fred and Louise Hieber were awakened by a call from Chicago's Christ Advocate Hospital saying their daughter was in an accident. On the way to Chicago, Fred began sweating and having trouble breathing.
“He said, 'Pull over. I think I'm having a heart attack,'” Louise Hieber said.
Fred went to a hospital in Hammond, where his heart stopped. Holly, he later said, visited him and brought him back to life.
“She said, 'Dad, you can't come with me. You have to go back,' ” Fred Hieber told The Times in August 2011.
Fred Hieber died this May following a second heart attack. The trial started in July.
“I just feel that we're getting some justice for Holly and justice for Fred,” Holly's aunt Linda Raszewski said following the verdict.
Holly's 28th birthday would have been Nov. 10. The family plans to light and release sky lanterns.
Louise Hieber clutched the chain around her neck when she recalled her last words to her only child.
“'I love you too, Holly. Be careful,'” she said.
Salazar will be sentenced Dec. 4.