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Victim impact statement

Victim impact statement

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Published by LindsayMarti
On Tuesday, June 5, 2007, my brother Nathan Marti, a uniformed Diplomatic Security officer at the Department of State, was riding his motorcycle to work on 395-N into Washington, DC. He was struck head-on and killed instantly by a drunk driver going the wrong way. Nathan was only 25 years old.

On April, 21, 2008, a judge convicted the drunk driver, Vathana Chan, of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and sentenced him to 20 years in prison with 5 years suspended. This is my victim impact statement, which I read in court shortly before the judge handed down the sentence.
On Tuesday, June 5, 2007, my brother Nathan Marti, a uniformed Diplomatic Security officer at the Department of State, was riding his motorcycle to work on 395-N into Washington, DC. He was struck head-on and killed instantly by a drunk driver going the wrong way. Nathan was only 25 years old.

On April, 21, 2008, a judge convicted the drunk driver, Vathana Chan, of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and sentenced him to 20 years in prison with 5 years suspended. This is my victim impact statement, which I read in court shortly before the judge handed down the sentence.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: LindsayMarti on Apr 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution No Derivatives

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04/14/2013

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Lindsay Marti/1 of 3
Victim Impact StatementLindsay M. Marti for Nathan B. MartiApril 23, 2009 Nathan Bradley Marti has been my little brother since February 23, 1982. I have no recollection of theapproximately two years of my life before he was born. To me, up until my mother called me at 7:53a.m. on June 5, 2007, Nathan was always alive in my world.To completely articulate the impact that Nathan’s death has had on my life truly is overwhelming and, I believe, impossible. I have written this victim impact statement in my head seemingly over a thousandtimes since the day the defendant decided he had a “good amount” to drink and recklessly chose todisregard my brother’s life, the lives of others on the road, the lives of his friends, and his own. Theemotional and physical impact that Nathan’s death has had on me has forced me to live a life I don’trecognize and become a person I don’t know. Nathan and I were very close – two peas in a pod, one might say. We shared hopes, secrets, private jokes, and our lives with one another, and our common bond of being in the same family kept us close,I believe more so than many brothers and sisters experience. Nathan followed me from Massachusettsto Virginia for college, and we spent my senior year at James Madison University, Nathan’s freshmanyear at Radford University, traveling to and from each others school to spend time with one another.After he graduated from college in 2005, he again followed me, this time up to northern Virginia. Upuntil the day he died, we talked on the phone and exchanged emails many times a week, often spendingtime together at each others houses, our parents’ house, and a lot of other places; it didn’t matter where we were, we could always make it a good time.Today and for the rest of my life, I am mourning the loss of my brother, my best friend, my confidant,my protector. Nathan was a proud uniformed Diplomatic Security Officer at the Department of State inWashington, DC. Ever since childhood, he dreamt of being a police officer. When we were little and played “cops and robbers” with the neighborhood kids, Nathan always insisted on being the cop, never the bad guy. He had the qualities that I most associate with effective law enforcement: fairness,firmness, reliability, and an overall sense of caring for the wellbeing of those around him. Although heis younger than me, he had an older brother quality and he strived to make me feel safe and as if Icould tell him anything without feeling judged.To emphasize his dream, here is what Nathan wrote as a high school senior in anautobiography project:
If I had the chance to have anything I wanted in life, it would be that I was a policeman. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be in that line of work … I have always likedhelping others and being a policeman would make it be a full time job. There is justsomething about the role of a policeman plays in our society that I want to be part of. Therespect they receive, the dignity that comes with the job, and the responsibility. I feel that Ihave what it takes to be part of all of that … I just have always wanted to be someone whohelps others in their time of need, gets their cat down from the tree, or arrests their attacker.This is the only thing I have ever felt strongly about.
 Nathan’s death has left me vulnerable and scared to face my life without him by my side, and forever 
 
Lindsay Marti/2 of 3
saddened that he will never be able to realize his dream. I find it ironic that his death involves the legalsystem that he so badly wanted to enforce and uphold. I also find it impossible to say that any part of my life has not changed because of Nathan’s death. Every plan I’ve ever made has been with thenotion that Nathan would be alive and well somewhere, at least a phone call away.I also am mourning the loss of so many hopes, dreams, and expectations. I’ll never have nieces or nephews, my brother’s children, to cuddle and buy presents for, or smile because they have my brother’s eyes or his infectious laugh. I’ll never wake up again on Christmas morning to Nathanlaughing and urging me to come downstairs to go through our stockings before we wake our parents. Nathan and I won’t grow old together. He won’t be around to help take care of our parents as they age.I also take on the mourning of Nathan’s hopes and dreams. He never will be able to live out his full potential, helping people in need and making a difference in the world with his passion for life and hishuge heart.Because of the defendant’s selfish, careless decision to drink and drive, I also mourn the loss of myown identity. I now assume the role of the youngest in the family. I don’t want this role. I have beenthe middle child, and this shift in family structure is unfamiliar and unfair. I have a close-knit group of friends with whom I have enjoyed spending time for many years. I no longer call them as much as Iused to. I know that they can tell that I have changed as a person. I often used to seek out socialevents and coordinate fun plans with my friends before Nathan died. Now I long for the desire even to pick up the phone and chat for a few minutes. I started a new job less than two weeks after Nathandied. I struggle each day to focus on my work and to remain motivated to learn how to be the best atmy job. I often decline lunch invitations from coworkers and eat lunch at my desk because I don’t feelup to being social with them. These people will never know the happier person I once was. I never will be whole again. I do not deserve to have my identity taken away by a thoughtless, negligent manwho placed more importance on going out drinking with friends than on Nathan’s life and the lives of other people he could have killed.For the rest of our lives, we will have family gatherings, Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations,once joyous and festive occasions, now ruined because there is someone missing, an empty chair. Weare able to smile and laugh together since Nathan’s death, but there’s now a moment punctuated bythoughts of who should be here smiling and laughing with us. We light a candle in his memory, but theflame does not come anywhere close to the feeling of one of Nathan’s warm and sincere hugs.I mourn the loss of my parents as I knew them. Confident and strong in the world around them, theywere also my protectors. I have held my mother and father in my arms as they have wept for their onlyson, feeling an indescribable pain and helplessness because they hurt so much, and there’s nothing Ican do. My heart will ache for my parents for the rest of my life. I mourn the loss of my once oftenhappy and lively sister Adrienne, who now regularly occupies the other end of the phone line, and wecry and share our grief over losing our little brother, and I watch her try to find strength within herself to take care of her four children. Nathan’s death has necessitated doing things that I would never wish anyone would have to do: I packed his belongings from the townhouse he was renting, sorting through clothes, mail, papers,DVDs, CDs, and other things of his that made me feel as if I was stealing or violating his privacy. Imade phone calls to arrange for a pastor to perform Nathan’s funeral service. I chose the necktie,undershirt, boxers, belt, and socks he wears in his casket. I personally called eight of his close friendsto ask them to be pallbearers at his funeral. I completed the form to order his memorial marker at the

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Gina Marie added this note
I've been avoiding writting my impact statement for as long as possibly, it's almost scray reading this because my sister got killed by a drunk driver as well on her way to work. every single thing that you wrote in this statement I have thought about countless times and our story is almost to similar it's unreal. I feel like I was meant to see this, so thank you.
Kathy Holzer added this note
I want to thank you so much for posting your statement for all to view i have struggled for almost 8 years with what i would say when i actually had to write mine yours was a great deal of help and i was actually able to complete mine
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