Justice for Evelyn Courtney
On Friday, we laid Evelyn to rest in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery. It was a peaceful and beautiful day, surrounded by family. Evelyn has a nice view of the San Diego skyline, the harbor, North Island Naval Air Station, and the Pacific Ocean.
Evelyn shouldn’t be there, but she is. She is there because the person who assumed responsibility for her safety once she got in his car, Robbie Gillespie, was high on methamphetamine and chose to run a red light instead of stopping. Evelyn thankfully did not suffer, but now the rest of us suffer her loss because of one man’s negligence.
Many people have been affected by the loss of Evelyn. Her family, friends, and colleagues will never be the same.
To Evelyn’s friends and to the friends of the family we would like to ask you for one more favor in addition to the outpouring of love, support, and prayers for our broken family.
On December 6th, 2013, Robbie Gillespie faces sentencing for the crimes of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter and Possession of a Controlled substance. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and 8 months for his crimes. We want to ensure that he gets the maximum sentence.
How can you help?
You can write a letter to Judge Moring of Dept 30, in care of San Diego Deputy District Attorney Dan Link.
Some tips for writing your letter:
- Remember you are addressing the court, not Robbie Gillespie.
- Keep your language clean. Excessive cursing may not get your letter read.
- Inform the court of any direct concerns for your safety.
- Remember that your letter may become part of the public record and may be read aloud in the courtroom. Media may be present.
- Express how the crime has affected you physically or mentally.
- Make sure you say who you are writing about.
Where to send your letters:
By Email: Linda Peña
By Postal Mail:
Attn: Dan Link (or Linda Peña)
Office of District Attorney
PO Box 121011
San Diego, CA 92112
By Fax: 619-515-8528, Attn: Dan Link or Linda Peña
Coming to the hearing:
You may wish to come to the hearing, but you should know that seating is limited and it is unlikely that you will be able to read your statement aloud. It is better if you can send your statement by one of the methods listed above.
I Love You Evyyyy <3 ill write in Wade!!
I sent the following letter:
To the court:
Robbie Gillespie, due to criminal use of methamphetamine, ran a red light and caused the death of his passenger Evelyn Courtney. He has been convicted of and faces sentencing for the crimes of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter and Possession of a Controlled substance. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and 8 months for his crimes. I urge the court to ensure that he gets the maximum sentence. This sentence won’t in any way make up for the pain and suffering he has caused to Evelyn Courtney and her family but incarceration for this period will give him ample opportunity to reflect on the damage he’s done. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dear Your Honor;
I am writing for two reasons. One, a beautiful young woman, Evelyn Courtney, who was a lovely young woman with her whole life ahead of her, which was full of dreams and a loving family, was ripped from the arms of all who loved her. We ask ourselves, where is the justice for her?
Second, Robbie Gillespie, who could have had what every young man his age has, made a terrible decision to live a reckless life not only putting himself in danger, but those who trusted him with theirs. He must live with himself, and what he’s done for the rest of his life. He knows he deserves the maximum sentence and anything less would not only insult the beautiful Evelyn and her family, it would be unfair to him. During his prison time, he is being offered a second chance at his own life. Rehab, education, and self esteem issues can be addressed. He would benefit taking his last breath in this place, in the time allotted, to bring himself peace knowing he paid the price for his unfortunate behaviors.
So, please, don’t take this opportunity away from him, and also help Evelyn’s family heal.
I wish you the best in your endeavor to honor your daughter. Even the full sentence is insufficient punishment for Mr. Gillespie.
I did not know Evelyn nor her family. But I do know the pain they feel. And I do pray for justice for them. I wrote on behalf of the family and justice for Evelyn. May she rest in peace.
I hope you will hear the cries of many who will be writing you regarding the loss of Evelyn Courtney and take into consideration what Robbie Gillespie has done. I hope you will realize that this man has not only taken the life of a beautiful girl, but has left so many empty and broken with no way to ever fix it. This man does not deserve anything less than maximum sentencing for two main reasons. One, Evelyn’s justice. Two, this man is a danger to himself as well as others. So many are dying from drug and alcohol drivers. I am beyond crushed to know yet another person has died because of this. I know the hurt they feel because I too lost someone I love to a drunk driver. We found out the man who killed my brother was a 3 time offender. Maybe had he received maximum punishment the first time, my brother would still be alive.
So please, take into consideration what Evelyn’s family is facing. They will never see their daughter again. A beautiful girl so young with everything in front of her. Her family will never see her marry, never see her have children and a family of her own. They will never see her smile again. Never get to hug her again. This was all taken from them.
This man not only needs punishment but he needs help. He needs to understand what he has done. He has taken a life because of his choices. So your honor I plead to you, to please give Evelyn justice and give this man time to truly see what he has done and ensure that he will never do this again. And last, let the American people know that the courts are on the side of good.
Thank you for your time and I hope you will do what is right.
Here is my letter to the court. Feel free to use it for inspiration as you write your letter, but please write your own thoughts and feelings, too. The court needs to know we are individuals who feel that justice will be served only with the maximum sentence.
c/o San Diego Deputy District Attorney Dan Link
On June 20, 2013, Robbie Gillespie chose to operate a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance. His reckless and irresponsible actions resulted in a tragic accident. Robbie walked away from this accident, but a young woman, Evelyn Courtney, did not survive.
Gillespie has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Just a few days before the accident, Gillespie was jailed for possession of a controlled substance and had just been released on bail. Obviously, this man is a repeat offender who had not “learned his lesson” and had a total disregard for lawfulness, but he was allowed to walk free on bail. His substance abuse and lack of judgment resulted in tragic damage that can never be repaired.
Robbie Gillespie faces sentencing for the crimes of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter and Possession of a Controlled Substance, with a maximum sentence of 10 years and 8 months. In a few weeks, the court will make its decision on what that sentencing should be. I strongly urge you to apply the maximum sentence for this crime.
I am a friend of the family, and I have witnessed the pain this man’s irresponsible actions have caused the family and Evelyn’s friends. While nothing will bring back this beautiful young woman, who was full of hopes and dreams, keeping this man off the streets will perhaps save other lives. It may also provide Robbie with time to perhaps “get his life back in order”. It is my opinion that Mr. Gillespie should spend the maximum time in jail. I hope you’ll consider my comments while making a decision for the court.