CHANDLER, Ariz. (KNXV ) — On Tuesday morning, William Epperlein was sentenced in Chandler Municipal Court for multiple misdemeanors after the death of Pamela Hesselbacher and injuries to her two children.
A judge sentenced Epperlein to one year of probation, community service and 30 days in jail.
Back in January, Epperlein pleaded guilty to running a red light, then hitting and killing the Valley mother. But because of what many considered legal loopholes, the offenses are mere misdemeanors.
“This is a tragedy, it’s tragic for everybody including Mr. Epperlein,” said Epperlein’s attorney Alex Gonzalez.
According to the judge, the maximum penalty in the case is 30 days in jail.
“He may just get a fine and get to go free,” said Hesselbacher’s mother, Jody Kieran, prior to the sentencing. “It’s not justice.”
Epperlein has a prior DUI conviction and didn’t maintain his required high-risk insurance. His license was suspended at the time of the 2016 crash near Ray Road and Ponderosa Avenue.
“That shows he has no respect for the courts or the system or for the family to begin with,” said Kieran.
Pamela’s husband is raising the couple’s two children on his own now. Ryan was three years old at the time and Audrey was one.
“They are doing OK…they are progressing,” said Kieran. “The kids are still having difficulty with medical issues and counseling.”
Kieran lobbied the legislature to change the law to impose harsher penalties on those who drive with a suspended license and commit traffic violations that result in serious injury or death. Pam’s Law was passed last July .
However, Epperlein would not face the stiffer penalties.