Friday, March 21, 2014

Garrity compassion a powerful example for state

The images of Josh Hunter are indelible even after all the years have gone by.
Images conjured up by news the Florida Clemency Board has heard an appeal from the former Braden River High School head football coach’s family and friends to reduce his 10-year sentence for DUI manslaughter.
The first image was from the 2003 state championship weightlifting meet at Lakewood Ranch High School, where he coached the girls team.
When one of Hunter’s lifters won her weight class title, she leaped into his arms amidst a cloud of chalk dust and left her handprints on his black T-shirt.
A joyful moment.
The second image was the extreme opposite.
Hunter was forlorn standing outside Saints Peter and Paul the Apostles Catholic Church in 2009 after the funeral mass for his best friend and coaching colleague, Doug Garrity, killed when Hunter rolled his truck after an afternoon of drinking.
Numerous people embraced Hunter, but the Braden River coach was the picture of despair.
His irresponsibility had cost his buddy his life.
He knew, too, the state would exact a harsh penalty, which it eventually did.
Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on Bradenton.com.

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