A Wichita man who admitted to killing a passenger in an alcohol-related crash will avoid prison time after a judge suspended the sentence.
Mareco Donzell Bonds was granted probation on Monday after previously pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a felony. The conviction stems from the Dec. 8 death of Kelsey Hanna.
Bonds, 47, was exiting northbound I-235 at Central in west Wichita when he crashed his SUV, the Kansas Highway Patrol has said. The 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara went off the road and hit a concrete drain at around 6 a.m. Dec. 8.
Hanna died at a hospital. She was a 24-year-old mother and biomedical engineering student at Wichita State University, according to an online obituary. A memorial account for Hanna was set up online.
“She touched so many lives and her smile lit up the room,” a GoFundMe fundraiser states. “She was a terrific mother, wonderful friend, and had such a loving heart, she could brighten your day in an instant.”
Bonds was arrested at work two months later, on Feb. 8, after he was criminally charged with killing Hanna. He was released from the Sedgwick County Jail on a $25,000 bond the same day he was arrested, Sedgwick County District Court records show.
Bonds pleaded guilty in March. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend that Bonds be placed on probation without serving prison time, according to court records. The district attorney’s office said in the deal that the victim’s family wanted Bonds to “receive an opportunity to avoid prison and obtain treatment in the community.”
Judge Jeffrey Syrios granted the departure request. He sentenced Bonds to 36 months of probation with a suspended, underlying prison sentence of 41 months, or just under 3.5 years. Syrios ordered 60 days in county jail as a condition of probation, but suspended the jail time.
Bonds also agreed to pay restitution to Hanna’s father for funeral expenses, later determined to be about $3,275. He also agreed to attend alcohol addiction treatment and complete the DUI Victim Panel, among other conditions of probation.