Local News

Family tells of continued pain from 2008 fatal wreck

Posted November 6, 2009 11:24 a.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2009 3:45 p.m. EST

— 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.

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.