MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A man who pleaded guilty to murder for causing a crash that took the life of a teenager in Madison County was finally sent to jail in June.
Jacklynn Stroz says that she lived through pain daily while knowing that there still was no closure for her son’s tragic death over two years ago.
“Not having him, it’s going to be continuable devastation to our hearts every day for the rest of our lives,” said Stroz.
In January, Jacklynn Stroz told News 19 that two years ago, she received a call that she says tore her world apart when her 16-year-old son Mikey was killed in a head-on collision while they were on their way home from visiting relatives in Madison County.
“There’s no way around it,” Stroz explained. “The loss of a child is just unimaginable pain.”
Adding to that pain for those couple of years was the fact that the man who pleaded guilty to his murder, 62-year-old Byron Mayo, had not been sentenced for his crime.
Mikey Stroz was reportedly riding in the car with his father and sister when a car driven by Mayo struck them head-on on Highway 431 near New Hope. Mikey Stroz was killed instantly.
Investigators reported that Mayo had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit. In June, a Madison County judge finally sentenced Mayo to 50 years in prison for murder but according to court records, Mayo had multiple DUI offenses before the crash.
Jacklynn Stroz says that the delays in sentencing for these cases in Madison County are torture for families.
“They should not dismiss these DUI cases because the police officers do a thorough investigation to make sure that someone is charged with a DUI,” said Stroz. “Whoever it is that’s dismissing these cases, whether it’s the state attorney or depending on which state or the district attorney, that’s the part that needs to happen and needs to be, I guess, improved.”
Mayo was also sentenced to 20 years for each assault related to the injuries suffered by Mikey’s dad and sister in the crash.
“Walking out of that courtroom knowing that we don’t have to worry about him being on the road, but it does definitely give us closure in that space,” said Stroz.