By GRACE WONG
GROVELAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (Court TV) — Megan Imirowicz was met by her sister Morgan and brother Ian, shortly after being released from the Oakland County Jail where she spent the last 17 months incarcerated for the death of her father.
It was an emotional reunion for the siblings, who had written letters to the judge urging leniency after Imirowicz was found guilty last month of unlawful use of a chemical irritant causing death.
Under Michigan sentencing guidelines, Imirowicz was facing between 51 (4.25 years) and 85 months (7 years). Prosecutor Jason DeSantis argued for the top of the range, declaring that Imirowicz willfully threw lye on her sleeping father, causing extensive chemical burns that required his feet and part of his leg to be amputated. Konrad Imirowicz never recovered from his injuries and died six months after the attack.
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Victoria Valentine heard from Imirowicz’s mother Julie Conrad, who questioned the investigation, suggesting it was not thorough enough and that important information had been left out of the trial.
“Two plus two just does not equal four,” she said pleading for mercy. “Losing Megan, not being able to look her straight in the eye or to hug her is a mother’s nightmare. Megan tried multiple times to reach out to her father and was prevented.”
“We were a broken family before this began and now, we are even more broken, while her (Megan) age and her body is 19 years old. Her maturity and emotional level are not that of an adult.”
Megan Imirowicz herself made a tearful appeal to the judge. Before she began, her defense attorney asked that she be uncuffed so she could turn the pages as she sobbed through her statement.
“Nineteen years ago, I was placed into the arms of the first man to ever love me, the man I’m lucky enough to call my dad. Growing up he became so much more, he was a storyteller, a tooth fairy, a friend, and hero, through it all the one thing never changed, was that he was mine,” she sobbed. “One of the biggest things overlooked in this case is that me and my siblings lost my dad too. That loss has severely broken us.”
Imirowicz went on to tell the judge that she mourned her father and is struggling to cope with her loss. She said she counted the days till she went to live with him, and her biggest battle these days is against self-harm.
“I get scared that he thinks I didn’t love him. He told me so many things, one thing he didn’t tell me was how to live without him,” she said.
Imirowicz rejected the State’s portrayal of her as a monster. She denied throwing lye at her father and said she had thrown some bread at him to wake him up. She admitted lying to cover up the fact that her father was an alcoholic, and she said it was easier to lie than to admit that her father was so often drunk he would relieve himself in bags that were left on the floor.
“The prosecution’s job is to make me look bad.” The reality she said was that she was the girl that took care of her father and threw surprise birthday parties for her brother so that he would know she loved him.
She asked the judge to help her realize her goals, among them, a college degree, studying marine biology, rehabilitating marine life, and setting up programs that help children with depression.
“I want to change the world,” she said. “I’m asking you to help me accomplish my dreams. I’m not a threat to society, but an asset for the future.”
A few hours later she was walking out of the jail with her two siblings and a friend who did not want to be identified.
“I’m really happy I get to go home with my family,” she said. “I’m scared to feel anything about my dad right now. I miss him a lot. I’m not ready.”
She admitted she was shocked when she heard the judge’s sentence, “I was praying for a miracle today and that’s what I got.”
Imirowicz admitted she had help writing her statement from a fellow inmate who she had grown close to – Jennifer Crumbley, who is awaiting trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, after her son admitted he carried out a mass shooting at a Michigan high school with a gun his parents purchased for him.
“She told me to write what’s in my heart,” said Imirowicz.
The first stop for Imirowicz following her release was a stop at McDonald’s about a mile from the jail where she ordered Chicken McNuggets and French fries.