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Family tells of continued pain from 2008 fatal wreck

Posted November 6, 2009
Updated November 9, 2009

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— A Raleigh man pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in a wreck that killed a 17-year-old Chapel Hill High School graduate.

Justin Caleb Crouse, 20, of 4612 Limerick Drive, was sentenced to a minimum of seven years and 10 months in prison for the July 12, 2008, death of Lillian "Lilli" Broox Manis.

Before he was sentenced, Manis' family gave a statement of frustration, sadness and loss.

"Our once-happy family is devastated," Elizabeth Manis said of the loss of her daughter.

Paul Manis mourned the life his daughter could have made.

"She deserved to live and make her mark on this world," he said.

"Instead of grieving, I should be listening to her laughter about some funny story from her first year of college," Elizabeth Manis said.

Raleigh man sentenced in 2008 fatal wreck Raleigh man sentenced in 2008 fatal wreck

Manis was riding in a car with her boyfriend, Philip Iavorov Jurov, of Durham, when Crouse hit them. On Friday, Jurov told the court that he still posts to her Facebook page to keep her memory close.

"She was everything to me. Losing her is unfathomably difficult to bear on my heart," he said.

Jurov and Lilli Manis, who were both wearing seat belts, were trapped inside his Honda. She was pronounced dead at WakeMed; he sustained serious injuries.

Court records show that a provisional DWI charged against Crouse was voluntarily dismissed. The wreck report indicated that he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 when he ran a red light at 70 mph.

Crouse pleaded guilty to felony assault with a deadly weapon for the injuries to Jurov. According to sentencing rules, that term, between 29 and 39 months, would be suspended upon completion of the murder sentence.

He will be treated for substance abuse while he is incarcerated and was ordered to serve 300 hours of community service when his jail time is complete. He will have to counsel young people about the dangers of alcohol.

Crouse will have three years of intensive probation in exchange for the suspended sentence on the assault with a deadly weapon charge.


Correction: WRAL News incorrectly reported that the Manis family filed a civil suit in hopes of recouping money for Philip Jurov's medical expenses. Instead our report should've said the Manis family wants any restitution to go to Jurov. The civil suit is a separate matter.

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  • Jack Flash Nov 9, 2009

    7 years is not enough.
    There's nothing positive about this, but we can create our own positive response moving forward in spite of it. 7 years isn't enough, but 70 years wouldn't have been enough for many, either. A shamefully short sentence could, if we choose so, push us toward healing, grace, and peace.

  • sjjohnson1 Nov 9, 2009

    My prayers will be with this family and boyfriend. In SC recently they sentenced a man that ran into the back of a family and killed three (two young children) and he only got 9 years.

  • See Chart Nov 6, 2009

    Kill someone with a car you get a lighter jail sentence than
    say with a gun or knife,Why?
    The law has to change ,getting a DWI taken care of
    by a lawyer should be harder to do as well.

  • MileageWarrior Nov 6, 2009

    "Manis was riding in a car with her boyfriend, Philip Iavorov Jurov, of Durham, when Crouse hit them. On Friday, Jurov told the court that he still posts to her Facebook page to keep her memory close.

    "She was everything to me. Losing her is unfathomably difficult to bear on my heart," he said"

    Absolutely heartbreaking. This young lady has been gone for over a year, and her devastated and devoted boyfriend still posts to her Facebook page?

    Drunk drivers don't deserve freedom or second chances. The only positive thing I have to say about the guy responsible for this senseless death is that at least he had the courtesy to plead guilty.

  • Drakula_I_G Nov 6, 2009

    Life in prison w/o parole.

  • shellrocks2000 Nov 6, 2009

    not enough time if you asked me.

  • StandFast Nov 6, 2009

    anatasia....They are both " adults"! last time I checked...20 was an adult in this state. And they should both get life in prison without parole..after all..these victims lost their lives at the hands of some stupid drunks!!!

  • oldschooltarheel Nov 6, 2009

    The drunk (slobbering unable to stand up drunk) without "documentation" or even a driver's license that tattooed me in Durham County was given time served (1 night) & 6 months probation. He predictably disappeared & never once met with his parole officer. No bench warrant ever issued. Funny how these sentences change from county to county. Good for Wake County DAs office & that judge. Look & learn Durham county (especially with the track record of probationers in Durham for heinous recidivism), look & learn!

  • LIVEITUP Nov 6, 2009

    Come on people, stop drinking and driving. There are lots of things that we can not control. This however is not one of them...so easily preventable!

  • anastasia Nov 6, 2009

    Let's see if the drunken plastic surgeon receives a similar sentence. Although, IMO, he should be held to an even higher standard. After all, he is an adult, a physician who see's the results of crashes such as these on a regular basis.

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