The husband of a woman killed on her way home from her mother-in-law's deathbed says he forgives the driver who killed his wife, saying he plans to visit the man in prison and talk to him.
Anthony Perez Rodriguez was sentenced Friday to six years in prison; he was traveling on Carmel Valley Road on July 22 when his vehicle collided head-on with a car driven by Chula Vista resident Enid Diane Mayer-Sheaf.
Mayer-Sheaf was driving home from saying goodbye to her mother-in-law when she was killed. Within a few hours, her husband lost his mother and his wife.
Her husband, Danny Sheaf, told NBC 7 he still misses his wife and best friend every day. The couple had been married for 25 years
"I mounted her picture on the side of a dresser that sides at the head of the bed all I have to do is roll over and say, 'Hi dear'," Danny said.
He said he misses the little things -- like how she would have dinner waiting at home for him -- and wishes she was still here.
But even as he stared at the driver sentenced for killing his wife in court, he said, he could only forgive him.
"I had already come to the conclusion that I had forgiven him already, because I’ve got to move on with my own life," he said. "If I spend the rest of my life hating him, then what am I doing? I’m wasting my life."
Enid, he said, would have done the same thing if the roles were reversed.
"I think she would have also forgiven him," he said. "It wasn't like he did this with intent, which would have changed the whole scope; she was there at the wrong time and it's regrettable he has to lose his livelihood as well."
After undergoing a roadside sobriety test, Rodriguez was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI. His blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.16 percent or twice the legal limit two hours after the crash.
Rodriguez cried in court after hearing the family's statements. It was when he cried that Christopher and Danny began to understand a little better.
"He felt bad for what he did," Danny said. "But, now he's going to have to carry that for the rest of his life; so am I."
At the sentencing, son Christopher asked for leniency from the judge.
"The only thing jail time feels like at that point is vengeance and that's not me," Christopher said. "I don't want to extract some kind of vengeance on him."
Rodriguez faced 10 years and was sentenced to six years in prison. The family hopes he changes in prison.
"It's up to him," Danny said. "I can't make that final decision in his mind."
Eight months later, the pain still runs deep for both Danny and Christopher.
"It's pretty rough; mornings are usually the hardest," Danny said. "She's not there anymore, she's not coming back."
For both Danny and his son, Christopher, the sentencing doesn't mark the end of the story.
"I probably need a little more closure, so I'll probably go see him in prison," said Danny. "I need a little more sense of the man himself."