DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – There was a surprise development Tuesday in the trial of a former Grand Prairie teacher accused of a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a six-year-old boy.
Tammy Lowe pleaded guilty to the lesser of two charges against her — Failure To Stop and Render Aid, a third degree felony. Then her legal team braced for the bigger challenge: disputing the second-degree felony Manslaughter charge.
“Your honor, the defense pleads guilty,” Lowe’s attorney told the court when the lesser charge was read.
Lowe said nothing and showed no reaction as the two sides got to work on the case without any opening statements.
First on the stand was a tearful Lauren Raidy, the mother of 6-year-old Johnny Raidy. “He had a light… and no matter what kind of day you had he could cheer you up and turn it around,” she testified.
Lauren Raidy was pushing Johnny’s younger sister in a stroller; they were attempting to cross Carrier Parkway in Grand Prairie. The mother recounted how her son Johnny had eagerly pushed the pedestrian call button, and then scampered ahead of her when the light turned green. She too proceeded across the street, but a wheel in the baby’s stroller got caught in a groove of the pavement.
“I heard a car honk their horn, and I looked up above it and the light was still red, and I heard Johnny get hit,” she said tearfully. “And I looked, and he was in the air.”
CPR was performed at the scene, but an assistant medical examiner testified Johnny suffered multiple blunt force traumas to the head. The little boy was declared dead at the hospital.
“They took me into a room with the doctors, and they told me there was nothing they could do. He was gone,” Raidy cried.
The prosecution spent much of the afternoon using maps and surveillance video to explain how the car driven by Lowe was responsible for the death.
Lowe’s attorneys said nothing about the earlier guilty plea, but Johnny’s family said they expected it after consulting with prosecutors.
Johnny’s grandmother, Anita Raidy Eads, said she tried to prepare for anything. “She [Lowe] admitted what she did, so I expected she would plead guilty. And about the other charge, I don’t know what to think about that. I guess that’s why we’re here [at trial].”
Testimony resumes Wednesday.
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