Tears, years in highway death

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Mike DuPre'
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
— The victim’s widow sobbed on the witness stand.

The defendant wept.

Their friends and relatives cried quietly in the courtroom Tuesday morning.

Carrying their sadness out of the courtroom, the victim’s and defendant’s relatives hugged and cried together after the hearing.

The defendant, Jason L. Huff, 31, of 1006 W. Fulton St., Edgerton, was sentenced to four years in prison and six years of extended supervision for hit and run from a fatal accident.

He is eligible for programs that could shorten his prison sentence, but if he gets out of prison before four years, the remaining prison time will be added to his extended supervision period.

The widow, Jennifer Kraay, declined comment after the sentencing hearing, but when Judge Michael Byron ordered four years in prison, she nodded, then sobbed again.

Huff hit Cameron Kraay with his truck as Kraay walked along Highway 59 between Newville and Edgerton. The two men knew each other, but they had gone to the annual “Break in the Weather” party in Newville separately.

Kraay had not been drinking.

Huff originally was charged with homicide by drunken driving as well hit and run from a fatal accident. But the prosecution dropped the homicide charge in exchange for Huff’s guilty plea to the hit and run.

Assistant district attorney Kate Buker told Byron on Tuesday that the homicide charge should not be read into Huff’s record because the prosecution could not prove the charge because of the amount time that passed between Kraay’s death and Huff’s arrest.

The accident happened around midnight April 14, 2007. Huff was arrested later in the day April 15.

Jennifer Kraay read only part of her prepared statement before breaking down and then speaking extemporaneously. As she wiped away tears on the witness stand, Huff cried at the defendant’s table.

Kraay wanted Huff sentenced to prison for five to seven years.

She and Cameron had been married only a year and a half before he was killed, Kraay said, and they did not have a chance to have children.

“No matter how much time I think he should get, he’ll able to see his wife on visits,” Kraay said of Huff. “He’ll be able to see his kids on visits. He’ll get letters and phone calls.”

But her husband—a loving, giving, honest man—was lost to her and their family forever, Kraay said.

At one point, she looked at Huff and said: “Jason, honestly, I could never hate you. … I’ve thought about a lot of things. Some of them were pretty harsh, but I’m not a harsh person, and Cameron was not a harsh person. He would not want this.”

Nevertheless, Kraay said, Huff should be sentenced to prison “so he can sit and think about what he did.”

Huff apologized to the Kraay family.

Sobbing, he said: “Being a father and a husband, I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through. I think about Cameron every day when I see my boys. I hope that some day you guys will be able to forgive me.”

Last updated: 9:40 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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