News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, June 27, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Her daughter is behind bars accused of being drunk when she hit and killed a father of three. Now her mother is speaking directly to a grieving family.
Kalisha Luke, 22, fought back tears as she appeared before a judge on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs. Deputies say she hit and killed Tony Milton on his motorcycle.
Kalisha's mother called in to our weekly radio segment on 96.3 KISS FM to give us the inside story.
"My version of what I can tell you about my daughter is she is not the monster that the media is dragging it out to be," said Luke's mother, Maressica Rickerson.
The accident killed a husband and father of three on Father's Day.
"You don't know when you go to sleep," Rickerson said. "I know other people have been in my position. I laid down and went to sleep, and I woke up to a nightmare."
Luke has a 3-year-old son of her own.
"Let it all be handled in the court," Rickerson said. "Let my daughter have a chance because the media is bashing her because it doesn't look good that there were priors."
Court records show Luke's last DUI was just this past March.
"What do you want to say to Milton's family?" we asked Rickerson.
"I'm praying with that family in my heart every day," Rickerson said. "That they would be able to go forward. Just something simple seems so hard now, just to get up and eat a nice breakfast."
Two families' lives have been changed forever. Luke's mother says she sent flowers to the Milton family. She wants them to know she is in constant prayer for all involved.
We talked to Milton's family when this all happened. They are still coping with the loss.
"He's got children," said Sherry Milton, who is now a widow. "He's his mother's only son. Can you imagine that your only son taken away from you? My first husband being taken away from me -- it's unbearable."
This accident was the second deadly suspected DUI crash in Richmond County that weekend.