Father Begs for Mercy for Son’s Killer

Two men embraceThe Morning Call,??Allentown, PA??- The father shook uncontrollably in court Friday, distraught over his son’s death in a car accident a year ago. That happens often.

Then the father begged a judge for mercy for his son’s killer. That’s rare.

“Some people deserve to be caged up and some people deserve a second chance,” Greg Hamell told a Lehigh County Judge. “Allow a little bit of forgiveness for this young man here. Give the family a second chance, I ask your honor.”

Authorities say Alexander Buskirk was driving 63 mph in a 35 mph zone on Nov. 23, 2011, when he lost control and crashed into trees, killing Greg Hamell’s 18-year-old son, Ryan. Buskirk and Hamell had graduated together months earlier from Northwestern Lehigh High School.

Ryan Hamell’s mother, Jeanette Hamell, asked the judge to sentence Buskirk to house arrest, and not jail.

“I want Alex to know I forgive him,” the mother said, as people throughout the courtroom cried. “I want him to forgive himself. I want him to live a full life.”

At the end of the hearing, Buskirk walked up to Greg Hamell and the two hugged for several moments, exchanging words. Buskirk then hugged Jeanette Hamell. Both cried before separating and leaving the courthouse. One soon headed to jail. Both hoping to heal.

Read the full story: “Father begs for mercy for son’s killer.”