A Texas man who recently completed a prison sentence for killing a 20-year-old man in a drunk driving accident has been ordered to wear a sign handmade by the victim's mother that says "I killed Aaron Coy Pennywell while driving drunk," the Houston Chronicle reports.
Michael Giacona, 39, was recently released from prison after serving a 90-day sentence on charges stemming from a drunk driving incident last year, after he ran a red light at a Houston intersection and crashed into Aaron Pennywell, killing him, KHOU reports.
As part of Giacona's two-year probation sentence, Harris County Court-at-Law Judge Michael R. Fields has ordered him to wear the "I killed Aaron Coy Pennywell" sign out in public during four consecutive Saturdays, in addition to wearing an ankle-monitoring device and displaying a framed photograph of the victim in his home.
"Mr. Giacona, I have considered what the witnesses had to say. I have looked at the state’s exhibits and, and quite frankly, I am concerned about you and this decision to place you on shock probation," Fields said, according to an April 3 court transcript of the sentencing obtained by the Chronicle.
He added, "You make me nervous, and the reason you make me nervous is I believe what the witnesses said about your behavior that evening: That you were, even after killing someone, still looking to get more alcohol. This is not your first DWI."
Starting this Saturday, Giacona will have to wear the sign from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the accident scene, where Aaron Pennywell's mother Kaye Pennywell has created a makeshift memorial for her son.
"I loved [the sentence] because that way he has to show more accountability for what he does and have to let other people know what drunk driving does," Pam Lewandowski, a friend of the Pennywells, told KHOU.
Kaye Pennywell told reporters she plans to show up at the site to make sure that Giacona follows through with his sentence.