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Sarah Root's family heads to Lincoln

Posted at 6:25 PM, May 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-22 19:25:41-04

The family of Sarah Root, who died after a suspected drunk driver crashed into her car in January, is furious with two men:

The other driver, Eswin Mejia, and the judge in the case, Jeffrey Marcuzzo.

The Root family says Marcuzzo set Mejia's bond too low which allowed him to bail out of jail for $5,000.

Since Sarah Root’s death, her parents have set on a journey to uncover why Mejia is nowhere to be found.

Scott and Michelle Root have spoken to senators from Nebraska and Iowa, testified in Capitol Hill questioning current immigration policies and collected signatures to file a complaint against Marcuzzo.

At Holstein’s Harley Davidson, several blocks west of where Sarah Root died near 33rd and L streets, Scott Root is revved up to find justice for his daughter.

“The local judicial system failed, the federal judicial system failed. [D]on't think so. Not good enough,” he says. “We're not done. We're just getting started.”

On Sunday, the Root family was not alone.    

Nearly 200 bikers joined the family to head to Lincoln where they will deliver the formal complaint against the Douglas County judge to the state supreme court on Monday.

 “It's awesome. It's crazy. I got goose bumps – that's for sure,” says Sharissa Stewart, who planned to ride with her father to the state capitol. “The ride is not even for another half hour and it's already packed.”

The judge set Mejia’s bond at $50,000 – an amount the family believes is too low.

However, a spokesperson for the Nebraska Supreme Court tells KMTV judges set bail amounts based on evidence presented by the prosecutor.

Still, the Root family remains unmoved.

“That is your responsibility,” says Michelle Root, Sarah’s mother. “People can tell me ‘No, that's a prosecution's responsibility...defense whatever the case may be.’ No, you're the judge. You're setting that bond.”

In recent DUI cases in Douglas County, suspects have received high bonds such as Edwin Elvir Palma at $2 million and David Hadi with $500,000.

As those cases unfolded in the media, the Root family says they sat with mixed emotions.

“I'm glad changes are being made. I'm glad there are certain things that are happening because of Sarah's case,” Michelle Root says.

No matter what happens in other cases, the family says there will always be a void in their lives.

“Bitter sweet,” Scott Root says. “My kid no matter which way you slice it – my kid is dead.

For previous coverage, click here.