The driver, 19-year-old Nikolette Gallo (who was 18 at the time of the accident), struck Sho from behind, left him to die, and only turned herself into police the next day, after seeing news reports about the accident.
Despite admitting to drinking several shots of vodka and smoking marijuana before getting in a car that evening, without sufficient evidence of driving under the influence, Gallo was only charged with a hit-and-run. She pled guilty earlier this month.
Gallo is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26. The judge is apparently "considering probation and some sort of custody or alternatives to custody at the time of sentencing." However, Sho Funai's loved ones are calling for a harsher sentence:
Just a few months ago, on March 11, the unthinkable happened—a horrific crash that devastated my family and wrenched through everything we had ever believed in. At the age of 23, Sho Funai—my baby brother, the perfect student, inspiring athlete, and generous friend who had just embarked on a promising engineering career—was struck by a fatal hit-and-run. The driver was a then-18-year old woman, Nikolette Gallo, who later confessed to having consumed alcohol and marijuana at a party earlier that evening. Sho was struck from behind and left to die. Despite her confessions, she was not charged with any felony besides hit-and-run, due to a mishandled investigation and the lack of action in completing a reconstruction report of the crash. Now, the driver is scheduled for sentencing on July 26th with the judge “strongly considering probation and some sort of custody or alternatives to custody at the time of sentencing.” That is, for the killing and abandoning of a pedestrian by someone admitting to drinking, the judge is considering the lowest punishment possible by law. This letter is about injustice and an appeal for your help.Sho Funai's loved ones are calling for the public's help in urging the judge to carefully consider Nikolette Gallo's sentence. For further information about Sho, the details of the case, and what you can do to support the family's push for justice, go to the Change.org petition here.