Susanna Goihman - the Queen Village restaurateur who pleaded guilty in the hit-and-run death of Kayla Peter nearly five years ago - was paroled Sunday from the Crawford County prison she used to call home, state prison officials confirmed.
Now home looks more tropical for the convicted felon. Goihman, now 47, who was sentenced to three to six years for running over the 15-year-old victim while driving drunk, moved to Florida, where she'll be watched by the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, said Leo Dunn, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
The Interstate Compact monitors parolees over state lines, Dunn said.
Database records show Goihman's mother, Dorothy, lives in Bal Harbour, an exclusive section of Miami-Dade County, but it's unclear if that's where Goihman is residing. A woman answering the telephone at a home there hung up on this reporter last night.
The decision to parole Goihman disappointed or infuriated Kayla's loved ones over the Memorial Day weekend.
Many of her friends, especially those who knew Kayla from Hallahan High School, were actively involved in keeping her memory alive through protests outside of Goihman's East Falls home and organized candlelight vigils.
"Unfreakinbelievable," said Donna Persico, a mother of a classmate of Kayla and the lead organizer of the monthly protests. "She is such a bag of scum. She will go back to drinking and driving. The sad thing is I do believe she'll do it again."
Kayla's best friend, Kat Viola, wrote an expletive-filled message as her Facebook status when she first learned the news, but later was more reflective about Goihman's parole.
"My gut tells me that she should feel pain like we all felt and still do feel [the pain] of Kayla's passing," Viola wrote in a Facebook message. "But, in reality, I suppose everything that entails her parole is better then her being completely free."
Prosecuting attorney Mark Gilson, who wept during Goihman's sentencing when he described Kayla's brutal death and the deep loss felt by those who survived the teen, said he wrote letters to the board opposing parole.
"I do not believe she has been reformed and I do not believe that she is truly remorseful," he said yesterday.
The board cited various factors in its decision to parole Goihman, including her acceptance of responsibility of her crime and positive recommendations by the Department of Corrections and by Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner.
In an e-mail to the Daily News last night, Lerner said, "I have great compassion for anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one, but for the families of many victims, no sentence would ever be long enough to satisfy a victim's family. Ms. Goihman received an appropriate statutory sentence in this case."
The board seeks input, he said, from the victim's family, the district attorney and the presiding judge "before making the ultimate decision as to every state prisoner's release date."