A man from Houston who killed a man while driving drunk has been ordered to wear a sign saying, “I killed Aaron Coy Pennywell while driving drunk.”
Michael Giacona, 39, ran a red light and hit 20-year-old Pennywell last June.
Giacona spent 90 days in prison, but in addition to the prison sentence, Harris County Court-at-Law Judge Michael R. Fields ordered Giacona to wear the sign during four consecutive Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the scene of the crime.
Giacona must also wear an alcohol monitoring device on his ankle, and prominently display a framed photograph of Pennywell’s destroyed car in his living room, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Saturday was the first day that Giacona had to stand on the corner of the crash site, wearing the sign.
“It’s sad to see him in disguise and a hat and sunglasses just standing there with his family while we’re sitting here and don’t have Aaron here,” said one of Pennywell’s friends, who was standing across the street from the site Saturday.
“For killing one of my best friends I don’t think it’s like enough. Going to jail only 90 days and then you come out here and carry a sign for four consecutive Saturdays, it’s not enough for taking someone’s life,” the friend added.
“Mr. Giacona, I have considered what the witnesses had to say,” Fields said, according to an April 3 court transcript of the sentencing obtained by the Houston Chronicle. “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.
“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,” Fields stated.
The accident occurred at at 1:37 a.m. on June 25, 2011. Pennywell was thrown from his car. When paramedics arrived at the scene, Pennywell was already dead, according to a statement released by the Harris County Sherriff’s Office.
“The defendant had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. The defendant failed a sobriety test and was arrested for Driving while Intoxicated,” the statement read.