The morning of September 24, 2010 is one that is forever engrained in the minds of those closest to a dear friend. Sirens pierced the cold morning air, while tires squealed away from the scene where Thanh Vu lay bleeding as a result of the car that had just run him over. Lying on the ground taking his last few voluntary breaths of life, the paramedics and police were on their way. Upon arriving at the scene Vu was pronounced brain dead and unresponsive, he was transported to Immanuel St. Joseph's hospital located in Mankato MN to be placed on life support, where he died later that week.
The accounts that occurred after this incident have been nothing but bold lies, false statements, and a man who made no effort to spare Thanh his life, left to walk around the city of Mankato upon reaching a plea bargain. The only stories in print are of his accounts, which according to police records have yet to be truthful.
Aaron James Whiteaker is the individual that is at fault for the actions of that night, he was the one driving the car that ran over vu, he was the one who didn't stay at the scene, report the incident, or come forward in the following days - instead instructed all passengers of the car that night to place the blame on the minor whose car it was, knowing she "wouldn't get in as much trouble".
After police started investigating the other passengers of the car and stories started to fall through, they learned Whiteaker was in fact the driver - released the minor from custody and brought Whiteaker in for questioning, where even then he still maintained it was the 17 year old girl.
When this crime was committed, on September 24, it is stated in court documents that Whiteaker was still on probation from previous charges in a separate case. His probation was to be up in 2012 [that would be 2 years after he ran over Thanh]. The justice system states that if a person who is on probation a) commits a crime b) is charged with crimes, or in this case both a and b, they are to be sent back to jail for the remainder of their probation and then also serve the sentence they are given for the most recent charges. Basic math is: Whiteaker is 20 - within 3 years he has been charged with 5 separate felonies and 3 misdemeanors, two separate cases, one involving a death. Red Flag anyone?
After serving 8 months in Blue Earth County Jail, Whiteaker and the state of MN reached a plea bargain, resulting in no trial, and he was allowed to walk out of jail that day and freely move about the populace of Mankato again. The plea bargain contains one of the four counts he was charged with - the misdemeanor of leaving an accident where great bodily harm was present. Not the felonies he was charge with: vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, or failure to report an accident - but the slap on the wrists of leaving the scene where someone was injured.
With this plea of guilt to leaving the scene, there is a typical 1 year jail sentence attached to it; along with the plea there is the promise of a downward departure. For those of you who don't know what that entails, is basically this: a downward departure means in 10 years this charge will be off his record - he is free to get a job like you and me without having to report his crimes to his employer.
The purpose of this petition is to show our strength in numbers for a voice that has been silent for the duration of 'justice' being served. Thanh doesn't have a voice anymore - but we do, and by signing this and gaining the attention of the judge we could possibly change the recourse of history and have a steady hand in this for Thanh. This petition is to encourage Judge Bradley C. Walker to make the right decision and take note to the amount of concerned individuals involved, take note that Thanh wasn't just somebody; but someone. We lost a great friend, person, infectious laugh, bright smile, best friend, better half, son, brother, and beautiful soul - let's speak up for his memory to be left as a proper depiction of who he was and how he will be remembered.
Today would have been Thanh Vu's 21st birthday - the best present you can give him, is a voice by signing the petition and sharing this story with your loved ones. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, may God continue to bless your life and may Thanh continue to always be the best guardian angel one could ask for.
Support the masses and join us to fight the good fight. Let's be the people they speak of when they announce they run on a 'by the people for the people' system.