DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Dallas jury was sent home for the night on Thursday after convicting former Grand Prairie teacher Tammy Lowe of Manslaughter in a controversial hit-and-run fatality.
Lowe had already pled guilty to a charge of Failing to Stop and Render Aid. But in the punishment phase on both charges, she spoke openly for the first time about what she did and why she fled.
A tearful Lowe claimed she had a panic attack when she ran a stoplight and inadvertently killed 6-year-old John Paul Raidy.
“All of a sudden a child ran out. All I saw was small features and it was just…” she paused, then said, “I had no rational thought of what to do. Except that if I didn’t flee, I was going to die.”
From the stand Lowe offered an apology to the Raidy family. “To say how sorry I am about everything… any and everything that happened. And how I would give back in a second, I would trade places in a second if I could.”
But prosecutors hammered on her about how she went home and deceived her husband about how she damaged her car, then later hosted a baby shower and family meeting before turning herself in to police five days later.
District Attorneys also pushed emotional buttons with heart wrenching sound from a police dash camera that captured Raidy family members arrived on the scene that fateful night. “John Paul…John Paul…John Paul…John Paul,” a man could be heard wailing. “I will love you. I will love you, John Paul.”
Earlier, the boy’s mother, Lauren Raidy, took the stand and was asked if Lowe should receive a lenient sentence. “Nothing is going to bring my son back,” she cried. “But she [Lowe] did what she did and she needs to pay for it.”
Prosecutors want prison time for Lowe; the jury could give her up 22 years on the Manslaughter charge; up to 10 years on her guilty plea of Failing to Stop and Render Aid. Lowe could also receive probation on either or both counts.
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