A man who pleaded no contest in a drunk driving accident that injured a McPherson teacher has been ordered to serve two-and-a-half years in prison.
Jeffrey Davis entered the plea last month to aggravated battery while driving under the influence. A McPherson County judge sentenced Davis Monday.
Police said Davis crossed the center line and hit Mija Stockman in December. The crash fractured Stockman's skull, causing her brain to swell.
She was recently transferred to a rehab facility in Gardner, Kan., and was at Monday's sentencing.
Her family says she is making progress in speech and physical therapy, but that there's no timeline for her return home.
In an emotional sentencing, Davis asked for leniency, saying he'd rather save another family from going through this than sit in prison. He told the Stockman family he was "very, very sorry."
The judge sentenced Davis to 34 months for aggravated battery, and two years probation, plus restitution to Stockman's family. The judge called this a "very difficult" case, but it was his purpose to keep Davis off the roads as long as possible.
After the hearing, Mija Stockman returned home with her family for the first time since the accident and they all celebrated Christmas.
"We're not going to have Christmas without Mija," said her husband, Shawn. "Little did we know it was going to take six months."
He compared the events of the hearing to the first time he went to the ICU after the accident to see Mija.
"Emotionally, It's been a real rollercoaster, up and down, constantly," he said. "The good and the bad."
The delayed holiday celebration was another of the good things following a very difficult day for the family.
"I wanted this to just be an unfortunate accident," Shawn Stockman told Jeffery Davis at the sentencing.
But he's learned to live with the truth and how his family's life has changed forever. Now, the Stockmans say they're looking forward. Mija's still in physical therapy, with no sign of when she'll get to come home permanently. The family says it's only been because of friends, family and strangers that they've made it this far.
"There's just, literally, thousands of people reaching out to help our family," said Shawn Stockman.