HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "I go into her room every so often to lay in her bed, smell her pillow, hold one tightly and pretend it's her," a sobbing Evangelina Canton said in court.
"We're pretty much just numb. We go to sleep crying. we wake up crying. All during the day we cry," Mario Canton added.
As the parents of Kristen Fonseca shared their pain, Tyson Dagley sat sobbing, his head bowed. They wanted Dagley, 20, to serve a year in prison for negligent homicide.
He pleaded no contest to causing a jet ski accident August 5 in Keehi Lagoon that led to Fonseca's death. Dagley's watercraft slammed into the back of Fonseca's jet ski. Video of the crash shows him looking sideways and not at Fonseca just before impact. She died of a brain injury.
"I'm deeply sorry for what I've done. I never meant any harm," Dagley said.
"I heard, 'I'm sorry,' basically, honestly, for himself. Not sorry for our loss," Evangelina Canton said.
But Circuit Court judge Richard Perkins said the crash was an accident, and letters of support plus Dagley's clean record factored in his determination.
"The court believes that the defendant is genuinely remorseful and not likely to soon or perhaps ever forget the terrible tragedy that is this case, and his role in causing it," he said.
He sentenced Dagley to time served, the twelve days he spent in jail and no additional prison time.
"It's a travesty that this has gone down this way. We feel a sense of loss. It's adding salt to the wound," Mario Canton said. Fonseca's mother told the court Kristen wanted to be a doctor. She read a poem Kristen wrote when she was eight.
"I want a motor scooter and I wonder if I will ever have kids,' she read.
Evangelina Canton told Dagley's parents they will hold their son again, while she will never be able to do that with Kristen.
"I'm going to live the rest of my life knowing that I've done this," Dagley said.
Perkins also ordered Dagley to perform 48 hours of community service and pay $78,000 restitution to Fonseca's family at $30 a month. If he stays out of trouble for a year his U.S. record will be wiped clean.
He will be free to return to Australia.