Sunday, October 29, 2017

Krista Sandstrom - Victim Impact Statements - Nov 17th Sentencing

Please forward to all you know:


Dear Friends and Family,
  We are nearing the closure of this chapter in our lives.   We still cry daily, but continue with our joyful memories as we strive for positive outcomes through Love, Honesty and Perseverance. Late September and early October was tough: preoccupied with our 24th Wedding Anniversary on October 2, and then our 25th Luther College Class Reunion October 6-8.
The sentencing hearing for Krista’s killer is Friday, November 17th at 1:00 pm.  The hearing will be held in front of Judge Fred Karasov.  He is located on the 7th floor of the Court Tower (C-753) of the Hennepin County Government Center in Downtown Minneapolis.
Our criminal victims liaison, Jeanne Werenicz has provided details regarding how and where to Address Victim Impact Statements.  Oral statements may be read by immediate family members.  All other statements are to be submitted in writing and sent to Jeanne Werenicz -- NO LATER than Monday, November 13th.
The Format for these statements MUST be addressed thus:

The Honorable Fred Karasov
Judge of District Court

Dear Judge Karasov [or Your Honor];
I encourage you all to feel free to write what you must.  Please do not hold back.  I imagine that your statement will probably need to include the name of Krista's Killer.  You will have to find his name on your own, as I am not going to type it in the same email in which I refer to my beloved.

Then send your statement so that it arrives no later than Monday, November 13th to:

Jeanne Werenicz
Legal Services Specialist
Hennepin County Attorney’s Office
Victim Services Division
C-2200 Government Center
300 South Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN  55487
(612) 348-9870

It is my hope that a deluge of written Impact Statements are collected into the record of this sentencing as they will be included in future parole hearings.   I also encourage everyone to attend the hearing - I don't know if there is going to be enough room, but If you can swing it, having a tangible showing of those touched by Krista will have a visceral impact on the Judge and the drunk driver who killed her.
For the oral statements, I have offered this opportunity to our children (who at this time do not want to do it), Amy Gilbertson, Krista's father, Charles Sandstrom and her brother, Scott Sandstrom.
I plan on reading my oral statement first with the possibility that I might be able to include a short video.  Immediately after my statement (unless Amy or my children wish to read), I will leave the hearing with my support team and be done with it.  I understand that many of you might wish to talk to me or give me a hug or etc.  But at this time I am anticipating that I will probably not be in the mood-- so I ask that you please not feel offended if I do not stop.  Just know that by being there, I acknowledge and will remember your love and support.
I have communicated time and again how I feel about this whole ordeal.  If you have concerns over the length of the sentencing for this drunk driver, please be active and put pressure on your legislator to change the law.  There isn't a whole lot the judge or prosecutor can do with the sentencing guidelines.  Keep in mind that regardless of his past crimes, the crime which killed Krista was his reckless drunk driving.  In this view anyone who has ever driven drunk, blew through a stop sign, cut someone off in traffic out of anger etc.  Is Krista's potential killer.

This drunk driver WILL eventually be released. So what kind of person do you want him to be when he gets out?  Do you want him to continue down the path he was...going to prison, we throwing away tax dollars each year for his incarceration but getting no social dividend for our civic investment?
Krista was the most perfect human being anyone could aspire to be.  She was remarkable on every level -- It is my hope that just as we all try to live up to her standards, I expect this drunk driver to find the strength in himself, to stand against abuse, violence, bad influences and set himself on the path where he will strive to live the rest of his life like Krista.  He owes that to her and to his own family who are no doubt grieving and in pain on account of his bad decisions.

If you need inspiration for what to write, in these past nearly 5 months, I have been sharing (and continuing to share) moments of her life.  Some of it the Krista you knew...and all of it the Krista I knew and loved for 26 years of my 47 years of life.  She and I were best friends from that moment we began dating to the very last.

Videos are found:

Photos are found:
In closing, I know you remain concerned for Soren, Birgitta and me but please rest assured that are doing quite well.  We each posses inner strength and resilience which we continue to use to support each other.  We laugh together and We grieve together.  While I have been continuing to post photos of my daily walks, it seems I post more photos of Birgitta than Soren.  This is not to say that Soren is being ignored – merely that he, like his mother, hates having his picture taken.  It usually goes something like this...We are having a good time, Soren is joyfully regaling us with his clever word play and stories – and then as soon as he sees the camera, he stops turns around and leaves.
In health we are quite good physically, mentally and emotionally.  Not only has this been noted by our closest friends, but our physicians and counselors who have also known us for many many years have remarked how well we are managing our grief and our interfamilial communication.  Apparently they like what I’m doing and approve of my parenting. Krista and I are straight-shooters when it came to talking to our kids.  It seems to be paying off.
We appreciate the love from you all, but please do not worry about us, focus your energies instead to Krista and the impact statement.