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Jonathan Peña sentenced in reckless driving death of Portland mom Ashlee McGill

A grieving mother was sentenced after an Oregon court handed down a “light” sentence to her daughter’s killer for speeding, losing control and crashing into her daughter, who was waiting for a bus, near Portland. He is complaining.

Jonathan Peña became the latest driver to benefit from a new Oregon law that gives reckless drivers a year in prison and repeat offenders up to five people behind bars.

Peña pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter in the death of 26-year-old Ashley McGill and was sentenced to three years in prison.

McGill’s mother was furious when she learned the fate of her daughter’s killer.

‘It was definitely too light’ Misty Nicholson told KATU News Friday outside court. “I don’t think it works if you try to get people to stop speed racing. Not at all. I think he probably took a timeout. But it wasn’t really a sentence.”

On August 27, 2022, Ashley McGill was killed in Portland when a speeding car lost control and crashed into the bench she was sitting on. Facebook / Ashley Diane McGill

On August 27, 2022, around 5:30 a.m., Peña was racing his Mustang against another vehicle on Stark Street in Southeast Portland at speeds of over 130 miles per hour.

At some point, the two cars collided and Peña lost control of his car and was thrown off the road.

The speedster jumped the curb and struck 26-year-old Ashley McGill, who was waiting at a bus stop near the corner of Southeast Stark Street and Southeast 133rd Avenue.

Peña’s car crashed into a tree, killing the young mother sitting on a bench instantly.

Jonathan Peña was sentenced to three years in prison on May 3, 2024 after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the death of 26-year-old Ashley McGill. K.G.W.
Peña’s Mustang collided with the car he was racing, causing the Mustang to lose control and jump the curb at a bus stop near the corner of Southeast Stark Street and Southeast 133rd Street. K.G.W.

Peña was hospitalized after the accident and was charged with second-degree manslaughter, but he pleaded not guilty.

The charge was eventually reduced to manslaughter and the driver changed his statement to guilty.

At Friday’s arraignment, Peña was charged with additional charges of recklessly endangering another person and reckless driving, both misdemeanors, according to court records reviewed by the newspaper.

McGill’s mother, Misty Nicholson, spoke in a Portland courtroom Friday and condemned Peña’s actions. K.G.W.
The young mother was waiting for a bus when the accident occurred at around 5:30 a.m. on August 27, 2022. Facebook / Ashley Diane McGill

With time already served, Peña was sentenced to 36 months in prison, three years of post-release supervision, and five years of probation.

He was ordered to pay at least $5,000 in restitution, KATU News reported.

McGill’s mother spoke in a Portland courtroom Friday, slamming Peña’s actions.

“I wish you the rest of your life that every time you close your eyes you look at my daughter and remember what you did to her,” Nicholson said. According to KGW 8.

“She had a son she loved and lived for. She had an infectious laugh and a smile that lit up a room.”

Peña later asked the victim’s family for forgiveness, saying she deserved justice.

“I feel like you and your family have an obligation to endure all the trials and tribulations that come with this so that we, as a family, feel that justice will be served for Ashley,” he said.

“She had a son she loved and lived for. She had an infectious laugh and a smile that lit up a room,” McGill’s mother said. Facebook / Ashley Diane McGill
Peña’s car crashed into a tree, killing the young mother sitting on a bench instantly. K.G.W.

Peña is the second person to be sentenced in connection with McGill’s death.

In September 2023, the driver of the other car, Kenneth Freeman, 35, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to five years in prison. According to KOIN.

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