Tara L. Thacker, 35, of Willard, pleaded guilty in late April to involuntary manslaughter. She also has a separate conviction for a credit card-related theft. Prosecutors dismissed a third charge of corrupting another with drugs during the April 25 plea hearing.
Thacker was sentenced this morning in Huron County Common Pleas Court. She must reimburse the mother of the victim, Jeffrey P. Gibson, 41, of Lorian, almost $6,172 for medical and funeral expenses. He died Nov. 6 and was found in the ditch near Mercy Health-Willard Hospital, where authorities said Thacker left him.
“You don’t know how sorry I am,” Thacker told Gibson’s family members. “I never meant to hurt Jeffrey.”
Gibson’s older brother, David, choked back tears as he said “I spent most of my life protecting my brothers and fighting their bullies.” He and his mother said Jeffrey Gibson was sober for three weeks before he died and had wanted to remain clean.
“I didn’t know how important that responsibility would become,” added David Gibson, who requested Judge Jim Conway help his family “fight this last bully” and give Thacker the maximum sentence — 11 years in prison.
Thacker can request early release after serving five years. She will be on five years of mandatory parole.
Read Thursday’s issue for the complete story.