An FBI agent blamed for the drunk driving death of a Maryland teenager may not be charged for several months.
On Wednesday, as the family of 18-year-old Lawrence Garner Jr. gathered for his funeral, they talked about justice and forgiveness.
The services were held in a Brandywine, Md. church not far from the scene of the fatal crash.
Hundreds gathered for this sad occasion, but few understood this loss as deeply as one man. Robert Mitchell, one of Garner's best friends, was in the car with him the night he was killed.
"No one will ever understand my pain. God spared me for a reason, and he will soon show it to me," Mitchell said from the podium.
Mitchell was critically injured in the February 7th crash that killed Garner.
Prince George's County Police say a 37-year-old FBI agent is suspected of driving drunk when he slammed into Garner's car just as the teen had pulled out of the driveway. Police had received an earlier 911 call when the agent's car had been seen weaving along the road.
Family friend Deanne Alexander said everyone should learn from the loss of this young life.
"It could be any of us, any of our children. Let’s not get behind the wheel of a car after we've had a drink,” Alexander said.
Garner was a graduate of Gwynn Park High School and had been working two jobs. He leaves behind a large family and enormous network of friends who hope to see the agent, identified as Adrian Johnson, prosecuted. But due to current law, it will take months of investigation to bring charges.
But one of Garner's closest friends, named Erika, urged his loved ones to release their anger and "for the drunk driver who killed him, I really do forgive him and I hope all of you can too. I'm not saying goodbye, I'm saying see you again soon."
As for Mitchell, who is only just beginning to recover from his physical injuries, the emotional pain is still searing. He has a story to tell about that fateful night and he is promising his best friend that no one will forget how he lived or how he died.
“Our voices are going to be heard. If God give me breath in my body, I will be heard,” Mitchell said.
State prosecutors and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have tried several times to alter state law that delays prosecution of drunk driving fatalities. The efforts have repeatedly been defeated by state lawmakers.
FBI Agent Suspected in Drunk Driving Crash Killing Md. Teen
Prince George's County Police say they arrested a 37-year-old unnamed FBI agent Monday night on suspicion of drunk driving after he was involved in a deadly car crash on North Keys Road in Brandywine, Md.
FBI Agent Suspected in Fatal Drunk Driving Crash Identified
Law enforcement officials have identified the FBI agent suspected in a fatal drunk driving car crash in Brandywine, Md. Monday night as 37-year-old Adrian Norbell Johnson. The FBI says the agent has worked for the bureau for six years.
Prayer Vigil Held For Brandywine Crash Victims
Two families, the Garners and the Mitchells, were surrounded by friends and family members, honoring the life of 18-year-old Lawrence Garner Jr. and praying for the recovery of Robert Mitchell.
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