No jail time for driver in crash that killed Richmond student

Posted at 2:27 PM, May 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-02 19:03:37-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- A Richmond man won't serve any jail time after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge. This stems from a fatal crash that killed fellow Huguenot High School student Antonio Shands last June.

Thursday in court, the judge sentenced  Mohammad Bangura to complete 500 hours of community service and pay a $2,500 fine. He also suspended Bangura's license for a year and added another stipulation. Before Bangura gets behind the wheel again he must pay the fine in full.

Bangura was also sentenced to 12 months in jail, but all of that time was suspended. His defense attorney told the judge that Bangura had no prior legal troubles. His mother took the stand and through her tears told the judge that he was "a good boy who has never caused me any problems."

Shands' grandmother Angela Skipper was called to the stand by prosecutor Tracy Miller. Skipper wept as she told the judge what their family has gone through since Antonio's death. She said she has had many sleepless night and can only sleep with the help of sedatives.

Skipper told the judge how close she was to Antonio. She added she was in the delivery room when her daughter delivered him. Skipper told the judge their whole family continues to suffer.

"My husband wanted to die. He goes to the cemetery every single day to visit him. my granddaughter, his sister wears a piece of Tony's clothes every day just so she can feel close to him. We'll suffer through this the rest of our lives and we want justice for Tony" Skipper told the judge.

The prosecutor asked for jail time on behalf of Shands' family, but the judge said he did not think that was appropriate in this misdemeanor case.

He expressed sympathy for the family but said "My sense is that this is not an evil kid." The judge sternly explained to Bangura if he gets into any trouble in the three years that his sentence is suspended, or if he is caught driving during that time, he would immediately impose the 12 month jail time.

Defense attorney David Powers said "It was a terrible tragedy. Sometimes people come out of court and they figure well, I've won, but nobody wins in this case. This young man's going to carry that with him. It's going to haunt him, it does haunt him. The sad thing is everybody involved in this, they're all good young men and it's a shame."