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Daughter memorializes mom killed in 2020 crash through art

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A daughter is using art this Mother’s Day weekend to remember her mom, who was killed in a crash last year.

Casie Micomonaco’s mother, Jeri Beth Murray, died in June 2020 when her vehicle was hit head-on in Warren County. The driver of the vehicle that hit Murray was Tommy Abner, the prosecutor’s office says.

Abner, 49, was found guilty in April after pleading no contest to aggravated vehicular homicide, operating a vehicle while under the influence, and escape, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.

It has been almost a year since Micomonaco lost her mother. Now, with Mother’s Day approaching, Micomonaco and her grandma are making art in memory of her mom.

“She’s [grandma] making a little memorial bench in the back yard, and there’s a little fence behind it, and she wants me to make a sign, ‘In loving memory of Jeri Beth,’” said Micomonaco. “And I thought, maybe for Mother’s Day, I’d take that box and put flowers in it.”

State troopers say Abner was driving his Chevy 1500 pickup westbound on State Route 73 in Clearcreek Township when his truck went left of center and crashed into a 2018 Honda Civic driven by Murray.

Murray was pronounced dead at the scene.

“My mom was on her way home from work,” Micomonaco recalls. “It was a schedule that she didn’t work normally. So, she normally wouldn’t have been on the road at that time.”

Witnesses say Abner’s speech was slurred and blood tests came back positive for amphetamines and meth, a news release from the prosecutor’s office said.

Fornshell says Abner was found guilty of escape because he was granted a medical furlough on March 29 but failed to return to jail and fled to Kentucky.

This was Abner’s third OVI offense with 17 previous license suspensions, the prosecutor’s office said.

The judge imposed the maximum sentence allowed on the aggravated vehicular homicide charge as well as a lifetime license suspension.

“We won the court case,” said Micomonaco. “He got the max penalty, which I agree with. He took my mom’s life, you know. you have to be accountable for that. But me being in recovery, I can also have empathy knowing that he did not go out that day to kill her, and for his family that has lost him.”

Abner will spend at least 12 years in prison.

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