Teen sentenced in deadly Douglasville hit-and-run - KMSP-TV

Teen sentenced in deadly Douglasville hit-and-run

Posted: Updated: Sep 23, 2013 06:44 PM
Hit-and-run victim Gary Latimer Hit-and-run victim Gary Latimer
Hit-and-run suspect Tabitha Anna Paige Hit-and-run suspect Tabitha Anna Paige
ATLANTA -

A Douglas County family is shocked after the woman who killed their loved one in a hit and run accident is sentenced to only two years in prison.

Gary Latimer, 41, died after Tabitha Anna Paige, 19, hit him and fled the scene in Douglasville. Police say Paige’s family took her damaged car to Alabama for repairs after the crash.

Valerie Latimer, Gary Latimer’s wife, is devastates and tells FOX 5 she doesn’t understand how the woman who killed her husband could receive such a light sentence.

“I was really thinking that the sentence would be a little harsher than it was, but it is what it is,” said Valerie Latimer.

Paige was sentenced Monday to serve two years in prison and three years on probation.

Police say the crash happened while Latimer was crossing Fairburn Road, near Interstate 20, in front of the city jail.

Douglasville police arrested Latimer after they were called to the home of Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons about an hour before the accident. Persons reportedly told officers that a disoriented Latimer had wandered in his neighborhood and approached the mayor's house.

Records show Latimer was taken into custody at 9:25 p.m. and bonded out of jail at 10:12 p.m. The 911 call reporting Latimer had been hit came in at 10:16 p.m. -- only 52 minutes had passed since his arrest.

Police say Paige fled the scene and her family took her damaged car to Heflin, Ala., for repairs. Police Chief Chris Womack says a tipster alerted police to Paige's alleged involvement, which led to officers arresting her Saturday morning.

"I didn't know the man had been as seriously injured as he was. I wasn't watching the news; I didn't know any of that until just days ago," Paige said at a previous hearing.

Paige said that she was under a great deal of stress because her mother has cancer.

Latimer's family was joined by their attorney at the hearing.

The hit-and-run happened on September 14. Days later, Latimer's family made the decision to remove him from life support.

While FOX 5 was initially told that Latimer was arrested for public intoxication, toxicology results showed that there was no alcohol in his system that evening. Douglas County Coroner Dr. Randy Daniel said that Latimer was bipolar and schizophrenic.

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