Family of teen killed by hit-run driver asks judge for max sentence

SAN DIEGO - A woman who left the scene after her car fatally hit a teenage boy on a Tierrasanta roadway listened to the family of the victim  ask the judge to give her the maximum sentence.

Sentencing was postponed Tuesday to July 20 for Jessica Rene Medsker.

The 20-year-old woman pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge of hit-and-run causing death. The defendant -- who has no prior record -- faces anywhere from probation to four years in prison.

The conviction is considered a "wobbler," meaning a judge could reduce it to a misdemeanor at the court's discretion, said Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar.

The victim's grandmother, mother and brother chose to deliver their victim impact statements in court Tuesday.

“Why didn’t the driver stop and help Alex? Why did the driver speed off? Why did the driver speed off and leave Alex on the side of the road? How does a human being mow someone down and speed off without coming back to help?” the victim's grandmother Jennifer said. "The driver must be given the maximum sentence for felony hit and run… we can’t let our youth come to believe that there’s no justice, or that lives are not valuable, or unsacred. So many lives have been affected by her actions."

His mother and brother said Medsker took away all the opportunities ahead of Alex the day she killed him, and that any sentence given would not provide justice or closure for the family.

"If I were to even hit a squirrel I would stop and make sure it was OK or anything, but if I were to hit a human I would stop," said the victim’s younger brother, Kevin Funk. "I would love to have her serve the sentence or anything that would help bring somewhat justice to my brother’s death."

"Your honor the defendant Jessica Medsker showed no humanity in her behaviors, no concern that our child is dead and I respectfully ask that you consider her behaviors and demeanor when presiding the judgment in this case," said the victim’s mother, Mia Funk.

Superior Court Judge Polly Shamoon rescheduled the sentencing hearing to next month so Medsker's attorneys can respond to the prosecution's statement in aggravation.

Medsker was taken into custody and was ordered held without bail pending sentencing.

Aguilar said 16-year-old Alex Funk and a friend were walking southbound in the fast lane of the 5700 block of Santo Road with their backs toward traffic around midnight on March 9. The victim's friend managed to jump onto a median to avoid being hit.

Funk's family had moved to San Diego seven months before the accident, relatives said.

A motorcyclist who was following Medsker estimated she was driving 60 mph in a 45-mph zone when her car struck the teen, according to Aguilar. Medsker was arrested six days later, about a mile from the stretch of road where the victim died.

The defendant admitted taking sips from her boyfriend's alcoholic drink at a La Jolla restaurant earlier in the evening, the prosecutor said.