Most of the media outlets have picked this up.
Christy Littleford, who was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident after the September 2010 crash that killed Natasha Pettigrew dead, received a 4-year sentence, but Judge John P. Davey suspended three years of it. Littleford will spend 364 days behind bars.
Littleford, her family and the family of Pettigrew, a Green Party candidate for Senate, all cried in the courtroom as Judge Davey handed down the sentence. She told the court she was "truly sorry" for what happened.
She also gets one year probation, is ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and complete 240 hours of community service.
As family members from both sides watched, Christy Littleford, 43, was taken out of a Prince George’s County Circuit courtroom in handcuffs, her sentence slated to begin immediately. Minutes earlier, her family members and friends tearfully pleaded that Judge John Davey look on her with mercy, arguing that she did not mean to hit 30-year-old Natasha Pettigrew.
I don't think anyone is arguing that she meant to hit Pettigrew. That it's an accident isn't relevant to the charges.
Prosecutors had asked that Littleford, who was convicted in May of failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving a death, along with other counts, be sentenced, effectively, to five years in prison. Assistant State’s Attorney Kirstin Statesman argued that after Littleford hit Pettigrew in September 2010, she dragged the third-year law student and Green Party candidate’s bike nearly three miles from the scene of the crash on Route 202 to her home nearby. Littleford never called 911, Statesman said, instead returning to the scene and going to the hospital before reporting the incident at a Prince George’s police station.
Speaking briefly on her own behalf, Littleford apologized to Pettigrew’s family. “I, too, suffer every single day,” she said.
“I don’t sleep. I don’t eat. My life is just upside down right now,” she said.
Davey, the judge, ultimately delivered the year-long sentence, along with fines and probation, predicting it would make neither side happy. He said that he believed Littleford did not intend to hit Pettigrew — and noted there was no evidence of drug or alcohol use — but said he found it “hard to believe” she did not realize she was dragging a bike. Maryland sentencing guidelines called for a term between four months and four years, Davey said.
After the hearing, Henry, who had left the courtroom during the defendant’s testimony, approached Littleford’s family members and told them she was “so sorry for your loss.” She said afterward that there were no winners.
WTOP meanwhile, proves it can read minds.
A woman who kept driving after she thought she hit a deer, but actually hit and killed a cyclist, was sentenced on Friday.
She says she thought she hit a deer, but I think that is somewhat in question.
“It is important for drivers to pay attention when they are driving,” said Deputy State’s Attorney Donnell Turner. “And further, if you believe that you have hit something or someone, it is imperative that you remain on the scene of the accident.”
Considering that the driver had no prior arrests or indications that she was not a reckless driver, and that she turned herself in eventually, I'm Ok with going lenient on the hit and run part of it. Maybe she really didn't know what happened and, in shock, acted weirdly.
But she hit someone she should have seen, and so the punishment should fit that part of the crime. Based on what I've seen in other cases, this is probably a reasonable sentence.