'They are being tried in the court of public opinion'; Hart's friends search for answers
PORTLAND, Ore. —
Questions are still unanswered as investigators search for the three missing Hart children and try to figure out why the family's SUV crashed over a California cliff Monday, killing Sarah and Jenn Hart and three of their six kids.
“Monday night was really tough,” Jammie Hermans said.
Thousands of miles away, Hermans learned about the tragic deaths of her close friends.
“I just can’t fathom losing two friends and their entire family,” she said.
Hermans knew Jenn for more than 20 years. They grew up together in South Dakota. The family she says she knows was happy and always having fun.
“This world has lost something because we lost a family that champions for things that matter,” Hermans said.
In the following days Hermans, along with the rest of the world, would learn about allegations of abuse.
“I'm not asking the world to view them as perfect or to condone possible child abuse, what I'm asking for is fairness, because they are being tried in the court of public opinion,” she said.
Hermans remembers 2011 when Sarah was charged after spanking one of her daughters hard enough to leave bruises. She says even Sarah realized what she did was wrong.
“Sarah owned up to it. She pled guilty. She didn't lie about it or hide it; she admitted she went too far,” Hermans said.
As for more recent allegations, she says she hopes people will hold off before passing judgment.
And about her close friend Jenn: “I will miss her Facebook posts, her adventures, her writing ... her existence in this world,” Hermans said.