A 49-year-old Cedar Rapids man will not go to prison for driving the speeding car that killed a 19-year-old woman crossing a street in downtown Cedar Rapids. The accident happened in July of 2004 and last month Larry Zaruba was found guilty of vehicular homicide. But yesterday (Thursday), a judge suspended the 10-year prison sentence for that conviction and sent Zaruba to a half-way house for a year instead. The parents of 19-year-old Abby Bowman, the woman Zaruba killed, begged the judge to send Zaruba to prison. “I dread having to go to downtown Cedar Rapids and be reminded of what occurred there,” Abby’s father, Charles Bowman said. “It is harder than it once was to find joy in life.” Fighting back tears, Bowman’s mother said the accident took her best friend and her future. “The violent nature of the accident and the fact it occurred in the heart of our city has shocked and saddened the entire community,” Carrie Kriz Bowman said. Prosecutors say Zaruba was under the influence and driving up to 100 miles an hour but Zaruba’s lawyers argued he had a seizure at the time of the wreck. The judge agreed and said time in prison will not heal a seizure and there’s no reason to believe Zaruba will reoffend. year. Even Zaruba was shocked he would not be spending time in prison. During Zaruba’s three year probation, he’s not allowed to have a driver’s license and he can’t consume any alcohol. He’s free today, waiting until space opens up in a halfway house.
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