Local News


Local family loses son, feel robbed of chance to speak in court

Posted at 6:58 PM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 23:14:36-04

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's been almost a year since Maricela and Terry Grittner lost their son, but the pain of loss is still fresh.

"He was a good student," said Maricela, Tristen's mom. "He loved sports. And he was my only son."

Last June, the Grittners' 21-year-old son Tristen was walking through a crosswalk in North Las Vegas, just a few blocks from home, when he was hit and killed by a car.

"He was just coming home, and he never made it home," said Maricela. "He never got home."

Weeks later, a North Las Vegas police officer met with the Grittners to update them on the case. The driver was not impaired at the time of the crash and stayed on the scene as police investigated.

"We were shocked it was only misdemeanors - three misdemeanors," said Terry, Tristen's dad. "Even though he was walking in the crosswalk doing nothing wrong."

The officer warned the Grittners there was a logjam in the court system and they should expect to wait months, even a year for a hearing in court.

The officer said he would be turning the file over to the city attorney's office and they should expect a document with the case number to arrive by mail. The Grittners waited months for an update that never came.

Finally, last week Maricela called the victim advocate's office, who's responsible for keeping victim's families up to date on court proceedings.

"I asked when is the court date going to be because we wanted to attend it and she told me that they already had the court date and that they had already settled with this man that killed my son," Maricela said.

The Grittners were never notified of the case number or the date of the hearing. They said they wanted the opportunity to talk about their son in court.

"Who was there for my son. For my son, I was not there for him," Marcela said.

For the Grittners' the hearing meant an opportunity for closure.

"What hurts me more than anything is not being able to be there. Even to say some words to the man and look him in the face and let him know how I loved my son so very much, and he was a good, good kid," Marcela said.

13 Action News repeatedly reached out to the victim advocate's office for an explanation on what happened in the Grittners' case but did not receive an immediate response.