This article was originally published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Cheyenne Jackson, 21, said it was the first time her 11-month-old daughter experienced snow on Dec. 1 — the same day the child was hit by a U-Haul truck and killed on Milwaukee's south side.
Jackson laid out the events of the incident during an emotionally intense sentencing hearing that landed 25-year-old Thomas Antonio Walker III with eight years in prison for the death of Ariana Matosek.
"Next thing I know, I'm 10 feet away from Ariana and I was just screaming and she wasn't moving," Jackson said in her testimony, holding a yellow toy duck that used to belong to the toddler. "I just can't understand what was more important (for Walker) than my daughter at that moment. I don't know why he didn't stop."
Judge Stephanie Rothstein sentenced Walker to eight years for charges of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and six years on a charge of knowingly operating a vehicle while suspended and causing death. The six-year term was made concurrent, meaning Walker will serve the eight-year term.
Walker pleaded guilty to the killing of Matosek after he hit the child and her mother while driving a U-Haul with a suspended license last December.
Jackson was carrying Ariana while crossing the street at S. 6th and W. Hayes Ave at the time of the accident.
The truck was found abandoned on S. 7th St.
Originally, Walker was charged with hit and run resulting in death, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license causing death and hit and run causing injury. If he had been convicted of all charges, Walker would have faced a maximum of 31 years and nine months in prison.
The hit and run sentence was not delivered because Walker and his attorney argued that he did not realize he caused the accident until he saw news reports on television.
Walker then admitted to police that he was the driver, saying in a criminal complaint, "I (expletive) took a life, you don't have to deal with that. You did not run over the girl. You do not have to deal with that, I do."