Man launches petition seeking ‘justice’ for brother’s death

Sho Funai died violently on March 11 at the age of 23, but there is a possibility that the 18-year-old perpetrator, Nikolette Gallo of Rancho Bernardo, Calif., might merely get probation, Funai’s brother Daisuke wrote in his petition on change.org.

Sho was walking home on the night of March 11 after celebrating a colleague’s birthday. He walked to and from the party to avoid drinking and driving. On the walk home, a car driven by Gallo struck from behind, the petition said. However, Gallo did not stop to aid Funai, Daisuke Funai wrote. She ran from the scene, which is a felony.

Gallo turned herself in the next day, after seeing news reports, the petition said.

She admitted in police reports that she had drunk several shots of vodka and smoked marijuana before getting into the car that evening, Daisuke Funai wrote. This would constitute underage drinking and drug abuse for the 18-year-old Gallo, the petition said.

Her car had significant damage, including a “shattered windshield, dented hood, broken/dented bumper, dented fender, missing front grille, shattered headlamp, and missing fog lamp,” the petition stated.

Gallo claimed she thought she had hit a sofa or an animal, Daisuke Funai wrote.

Funai graduated as valedictorian of his high school in Palos Verdes and majored in structural engineering at the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated with magna cum laude honors, the petition said.

Some 350 people attended his funeral. And among the speakers at the funeral was an academic advisor, who shared about Funai’s advanced research on composite materials and contributions to airline safety.

Funai was awarded his master’s degree posthumously on June 16.

Gallo’s family has hired the former district attorney of San Diego as their defense lawyer, and there have been closed-door sessions with the presiding judge, Judge Dwayne Moring, who has indicated that he is strongly considering probation or some sort of alternative to custody, Daisuke Funai wrote.

The petition cites three ways that supporters can help.

• Write a letter to the judge. The court is accepting victim impact letters until July 17th at:
Reference: People vs. Nikolette Kristina Gallo (Case number CD239761)
The Honorable Dwayne Moring
San Diego Superior Court, Central Division
220 West Broadway Dept. 30
San Diego, CA 92101

• Attend Gallo’s sentencing, which is set for Thursday, July 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the above address.

• Sign the online petition at: http://www.change.org/petitions/honorable-dwayne-moring-reconsider-sentencing-for-people-v-nikolette-gallo-case-cd239761?share_id=fQgbdILaEn.

For more information, contact Daisuke Funai at funaid@gmail.com. Those without Internet access can call Martha Nakagawa at (310) 923-5467.

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