Mitchell Green, of Kern County, California, near Bakersfield, served in the army for six years in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and he was a firefighter on the local force. He didn’t have a criminal record to speak of, and his friends called him a model citizen.
Before the night of February 2, 2010 , that is. On that night, Green drove drunk, and he got into a car accident. He collided with a vehicle carrying Michelle Maxwell and her teenage daughter. Michelle Maxwell died, and Mitchell Green now faces nine years in prison for charges related to California DUI, according to the Bakersfield Californian.
Her husband, Jerry Maxwell, acknowledged that, no matter what the sentence was, their lives were forever changed by Green’s decision. Judge Charles H. Brehmer noted during the sentencing that Green didn’t mean to hurt anyone, much less cause their death.
Maxwell’s mother, Marceline Seberger, spoke in court about the loss that she had suffered, emphasizing that there was no way that Green could know the way that they felt. She did believe that Green was remorseful, however, following the trial, saying that she could see the emotion in Green’s eyes. The last thing she said to Green was, “May you make peace with God before you see him face to face.”
Maxwell’s daughters told the Californian that they forgave Green for his actions the night his DUI caused their mother’s death. But they acknowledged the continued pain they would face. “She will never be able to spoil my children or even meet them,” said Michaela Maxwell, who was in the car the night of the crash.
Jerry Maxwell felt less kindness in the hours following the crash. Green was in a hospital bed near his family, according to the Californian, and he acknowledged a desire to hurt Green after learning that his wife had died. But his wife’s memory stayed his hand. “I heard my wife’s voice saying, ‘It’s not worth it,’” he told the paper.
Green had plead no contest to the felony gross vehicular manslaughter charge in December. His pickup truck collided with the Hyundai Sonata occupied by the Maxwells. Green had run a red light, and he didn’t brake even as he hit the smaller car.
His blood alcohol content registered at .13, over the .08 legal limit across the country.