PHOTOS VIA SLMPD / THE GRELLE FAMILY
Michelle Conway, the driver who pleaded guilty to plowing into musician David Grelle
on South Grand and then fleeing the scene, has been sentenced to five years of probation. St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Steven Ohmer passed down the sentence at a hearing this morning at the Carnahan Courthouse.
Conway, 28, must also wear an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet and complete twenty hours of community service, as well as take part in an alcohol treatment program. She is barred from any establishment whose primary function is to serve alcohol, and has to stay out of the South Grand neighborhood, where the incident took place.
If she completes her probation without any violations, she will not have a felony conviction on her record.
See also: Struck by a Hit-and-Run Driver, Musician David Grelle Battles for Justice
Conway made a statement in court expressing her remorse for the 2016 incident, which left the father of two with 22 broken bones and a lacerated liver. She said she wished that day had never happened. But Grelle testified that she had not expressed any such remorse to him or his family throughout the court case.
The sentence comes as a disappointment for Grelle and his family. Grelle, his wife and his father each offered impassioned victim impact statements asking that the felony conviction remain on Conway's record.
Ultimately, they say, Judge Ohmer expressed concern that a felony conviction would affect Conway's future employment options. He also noted that Conway had spent 130 days in custody at the county workhouse before being able to make bail.
Grelle, 38, had explained to RFT two days prior to the sentencing
that while he didn't feel that she needs to serve jail time, he would like for there to be a significant and lasting consequence for Conway's actions — specifically, that felony conviction.
"For me, it's all about some sort of permanence. Some sort of reminder," he said, mentioning that he will be dealing with his injuries for the rest of his life.
Assuming she completes probation without any slip-ups, Conway will be free and clear by 2023. She will be 33 years old.