February 6, 2004
Yesterday, Thursday February 5, both Brandon Lee Brogan and Mark Daniel Urban pled guilty to their charges.
Brandon Lee Brogan pled guilty to "leaving the scene of an accident with death involved". He was sentenced to:
10 years (suspended)
5 years probation
300 hours of community service or be gainfully employed
- Must acquire his high school diploma
Mandatory random drug testing
Mark Daniel Urban, Jr., after much indecision, pled guilty to "mis-prison of a felony". He also admitted to the court before his sentencing, that while he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol as court convened, he did have drugs in his system. He was sentenced to:
10 years (suspended)
- 5 years probation
- 300 hours of community service or must acquire and maintain full-time gainful employment
- Drug treatment
- Mandatory random drug testing
On behalf of our family, I would like to thank John
and Carmen, who represented the Horry County Chapter of A.B.A.T.E. It
was a great comfort to have you there and although we had not met before,
you felt like old friends. We were overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude.
We have received so much support from the huge community of A.B.A.T.E. members. We cannot thank you enough.
January 30, 2004
We have a court date.
Thursday February 5 at 2:00 in Conway, SC 1301 2nd Avenue in General Sessions Court.
Brandon Brogan will plead guilty to "leaving the scene of an accident with death involved". This charge is a felony and, upon conviction, carries a sentence of imprisonment for "not less than one year nor more than twenty-five years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars".
We have been told that M. Daniel Urban will also plead on Thursday, February 5. He is being charged with "mis-prison of a felony" which carries a sentence of "0 - 10 years". "Mis-prison of a felony" has been explained to us as basically, aiding and abetting a felony.
We would also like to take a moment to thank Solicitor Scott Hixson and his staff, Carol, Patty, and Genetha, for their time, energy, and efforts. We appreciate all that they've done and on behalf of Jay's family, thank you.
January 18, 2004
There is at least one person in every state of the United States and 9 other countries that have visited Jay's website and signed his guestbook.
January 5, 2004
As of today, the news of Jay's tragic death has crossed 42 states and 3 other countries, as represented by the posts in the guestbook. There is some small comfort in knowing that others share our outrage that his murderers are STILL not in jail even 233 days after committing their crime. They are still licensed to drive, are still enjoying the freedom to be with their families and still free to carry on with their lives as if they didn't plow into Jay and leave him dying on Hwy 17 in Myrtle Beach.
More thank you's to Vinnie for his help in spreading the word and to everyone for taking the time to sign the guestbook. Know that we appreciate every single entry.
December 22, 2003
Once again, I thank everyone for all of the new guestbook entries. I wish that I could find the words to express how much they mean to us. One thing I can say, is that we read the guestbook every single day. For me, the guestbook is a comfort in that it reminds me that Jay is still touching people....that he is not forgotten. I thank each and every one of you for that.
We are struggling through this "holiday" season and doing the best that we can. Thank you all for your continued support.
November 17, 2003
Today marks six months since Jay was killed.
Brogan and Urban are still free and probably planning their Thanksgiving celebration with their families.
We can only reflect. The very thought of a holiday celebration is too painful to even consider. Our holiday celebrations will never be the same without Jay.
A very special thank you to Vinnie of NC Rider Web, all the members of his association, the Sons of Liberty Riders and NC-Bikers yahoo group. Your surge of posts to Jay's guestbook do so much for our spirits. One of the most painful parts of losing such a vital member of one's world, is the fear that he will be forgotten. Everyone who has taken the time to sign the guest book helps keep his memory alive.....we thank you.
Vinnie also lost his friend Sandy Lee to a "right of way" violator. Our condolences to Sandy's family, friends and the community of bikers who share in their loss.
November 6, 2003
A note of thanks to everyone who has visited Jay's web site and to those who have taken the time to sign the guestbook. I was on the phone with Mom when I opened my email to find so many new entries for today. It was truly a heart warming boost.
October 20, 2003
One hundred and fifty-six days...a little more than five months...almost one half of a year since Jay's accident. There are no pending court dates at this time.
Thank you so much to everyone reading Jay's website and signing his guestbook. It really means the world to us.
September 15, 2003
There was a closed court hearing on Sept 5. According to the Solicitor, Brogan and Urban are pleading guilty. Please check back for information regarding the "official" court date for Jay's case.
August 28, 2003
Someone said to me recently, "I can't imagine what your family is going through...and then to have to deal with the legal system on top of it..."
At the moment, I'd just like to thank everyone who has kept us in your thoughts and prayers. Keep the guestbook going...we appreciate all sincere postings, even if it's just to sign your name.
July 27, 2003
A couple of weeks ago my family was asked to fill out a form called a "Victim Impact Statement". We were asked to describe how this "event" has impacted our lives. The common response from most of my family was, "how has this NOT impacted our lives?"
There is not one single part of our lives that will ever be the same. I think I speak for us all when I say that it still just doesn't even seem real. It's like a very bad dream that I pray to wake up from.
Filling out the "Victim Impact Statement"caused me to make a very interesting observation....
On May 17, I got a frantic call from my mother telling me that Jay had been in an accident and that I needed to get to Grand Strand Hospital in Myrtle Beach as soon as possible. I told myself to remain calm, that it was probably a broken leg or something, certainly nothing major. I made arrangements to be away for a couple of days. Each minute that passed brought more anxiety, I knew that it was going to take at least 3 1/2 hours to get to Myrtle Beach. As much as I tried to reassure myself that everything was "okay", I had an unsettling feeling that I really needed to get there fast. I had received a phone call from family with an update on Jay's condition. I was told that the hospital had called Vickie and told her that "all family members should get to the hospital as soon as possible". After only a short while of road time, I put my hazard lights on and was determined to get to that hospital, smile at my brother and tell him that everything would be okay.
Over half way there, in Nichols, SC, I saw blue lights in my rear view. I pulled over. I had maintained my composure up until that point. When the officer sarcastically asked "what's your emergency?", I told him that I was desperately trying to get to my brother who had been involved in a serious accident. I had to sit there and listen to his pathetic lecture while he wrote my speeding ticket. As my brother's last moments were ticking away, I was charged with speeding and given a court date on the spot. The men that killed my brother waited six days to turn themselves in and weren't charged with anything for another NINE DAYS. To date, they have only appeared for a bond hearing. My court date has come and gone.
July 25, 2003
Just a note at the moment to thank everyone who has taken the time to sign the guest book thus far. Again, I hope that as it grows, it will be a source of comfort to family and friends. Thank you.
July 24, 2003
Tomorrow's court appearance has been "waived".
At the Bail Bond Hearing on May 31, we were told that a mandatory court date was set for June 25 and that it could not be changed. We were told that it was mandatory for Brogan and Urban to appear in person at the General Sessions Court (15th Circuit Court, Conway, SC) and it could not be changed.
It can't be changed, but apparently it can be waived.
July 17, 2003
The preliminary hearing was held today in Myrtle Beach. Mark Daniel Urban waived his right to a preliminary hearing and Brandon Lee Brogan failed to appear, therefore, waiving his right to the hearing.
July 11, 2003
Preliminary Court Hearing has been scheduled.
June 25, 2003
Naive to how the criminal justice system works, we assumed that as soon as the police knew who had killed Jay, that they would be charged and put in jail while they awaited a trial. We were shocked when we learned that Brogan and Urban were neither charged NOR detained after their confession and HORRIFIED to learn that police allowed them to just "go home". The authorities informed us that the case is still an "active investigation" until the court date. Maybe we were foolish to assume that the car, which seems like EVIDENCE to us, would be in police custody to ensure it's integrity. Again, we were wrong. The authorities let Brogan and Urban have their death machine back to cruise through more city streets. The customized '95 Mustang now, basically advertises the fatal accident by offering the profile of it's demolished windshield where Jay's body was catapulted into it, now held in place with duct tape. The door and side panels resemble wadded up aluminum foil that someone tried to straighten out and reuse, where Jay collided with the car when they drove in front of him. If decency prevailed the "oh so remorseful" would not even be able to lay eyes on that car and would certainly not be able to stomach the thought of driving it ever again. They were seen in the car at their nightly hangout and remorse was not a part of the program that evening a week ago.
Jay's friends and family have been bombarded with vile, name-calling posts to Jay's Memorial website, that demonstrate a severely limited vocabulary and redundant use of profanity. The individuals say that they are from Saint Albans, WV, and refused to attach an identity to their posts, leaving them marked "Unknown", demonstrating the cowardice that apparently runs rampant in Saint Albans. Their accusations include that Jay was "three times the legal limit", speeding and some other claims that we cannot bear to repeat. We are not posting these to Jay's Guestbook because it is not appropriate. Anyone that knew Jay, knows that he didn't drink, smoke, swear and never took anything stronger than asprin. He needs no defending.
June 16, 2003
We have added a "timeline" of sorts to the website in an attempt to set the record straight about the facts of the accident and subsequent events as reported to us by the authorities. There has been quite a bit of misinformation published/reported in the news media, which has understandably caused the family additional grief and confusion. We hope that the timeline will provide some clarity as to the chronological order of the events surrounding Jay's death and the subsequent outcome of the legal proceedings.
June 13, 2003
Less than 48 hours after the bond hearing, we learned that the 'men' were released. I'd like to say that we were surprised that the $25,000 bond for each of them was apparently reduced to being released on their own recognizance, but we weren't.
We have added a guestbook to website. My hopes are that it will help us evaluate our efforts to get the word out about Jay's accident and to see that there is justice for him. I encourage everyone to sign the guestbook. I'd like to hear from friends, family, bikers, concerned citizens and anyone else that find themselves moved by what they've found here.
June 4, 2003
Yes, finally, some sixteen days after my brother was killed, ten days
after the people responsible turned themselves in, some information
was finally released to the public. Yet with each round of publication
about the accident, more questions surface.
We were told by the authorities that the "men" turned themselves in on May 22 and confessed to the crime without being charged or detained in any way, and were allowed to return to WV for ten days. Our entire family is outraged that Jay's killers were not even charged after confessing to committing a felony crime and were allowed to just walk away! On May 31st, they did return to SC to turn themselves in and be charged, not May 26th as printed by the Myrtle Beach Sun News. The continuous flow of inaccurate information just adds insult to injury, in my opinion.
Just one more example of incompetence is when I received the automated phone call from "IVIS", the Internet Victim Information Service, on Sunday, June 1st. The automated voice instructed me that there was information regarding the case and to call a certain telephone number to receive an update. I called the number and was asked for a victim id number and password that, of course, I didn't have. The automated voice did give an alternate number to call if I had questions. When I called the number and explained that I was trying to access the information referred to by the automated telephone call, I was informed that "IVIS" was trying to reach my deceased brother Jay to let him know that the men* responsible for his death had been released from jail. Needless to say I was appalled. When my mother spoke with them and got the same statement, she told them to let her know if they got in touch with him, because she'd love to tell him that she loves him one more time.
Maybe at some point we can actually compile a list of the inaccuracies, the misinformation and maybe even some of the downright "bending of the truths" as we, the family, are left to piece the information together ourselves regarding the accident that took my brother's life.
*For the sake of clear communication I use the term "man"
or "men" when referring to the two pathetic individuals that
killed my brother. The word "man" means much more to me than
age and/or gender and it pains me to refer to these cowardly murderers
in such a way.
My brother, Jay, was a MAN in every sense of the word.