After the Verdict: Susan Wood's family speaks with Channel 3
Story by Callie Starnes
Eyewitness News Reporter/Anchor
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- A former Chattanooga Billiards Club employee will go to jail, after hitting a woman with his car, and leaving her to die.
A jury convicted 26-year-old Jeremy Lane Friday of vehicular homicide, by reckless conduct.
Lane hit Susan Wood with his car two days before Christmas in 2009.
The wife, and mother of two, was walking to work at Unum when Lane hit her.
Lane's friends took the stand against him to say he'd been drinking.
But a jury found Lane not guilty of DUI, because the Chattanooga Police Department didn't administer a sobriety test.
The guilty verdict on three of the four charges is another step in the healing process for Susan Wood's family.
They invited just one television station into their home Saturday to remember Susan, and to talk about the man who cut her life short.
"Her infectious smile, her heart, her capacity to love, selflessly," says Matt Wood, Susan's husband.
Those things made Susan Wood a loving wife, devoted mother, and treasured daughter.
"I can't just pick up the phone now and punch that number," says Karen Duncan, Susan's sister. "I miss her every day."
Books of pictures and poems help Susan's family remember the good times.
"You can't forget her," says Harold Berry, Susan's father. "If you don't talk about it then it's a deeper hurt."
After 15 months of healing, together they took another step and faced the man who killed Susan.
Evidence brought painful memories.
"I would see the sign on 4th Street, the little memorial, to hear it brought back up fresh, to realize while this woman is talking on the phone my sister is probably dying," says Steve Berry, Susan's brother.
A brother and an entire family prayed for Jeremy Lane to confess.
"Even though it was through his lawyer, I still feel it was a confession from him, ‘look I did it and I'm sorry'," says Matt Wood.
That confession and Susan's own words at a family dinner before her death help, if only just a little.
"She said she was ready to go, so we know where she is," says Charlotte Berry, Susan's mother. "That means a lot."
The family hopes for a fair sentence, but say they have faith in the final word.
"That's not for me to decide," says Harold Berry. "I can't judge him; God will judge him."
Matt Wood hopes no one will forget his wife, especially the man who killed her.
"If he ever gets out of jail and gets in that position again, that he'll consider this family, what has happened, and what happened to Susan before he does that again," says Matt Wood.
Jeremy Lane will be sentenced in May.
He could face 12 years in jail.