On behalf of Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC posted on Monday, November 19, 2012.
In what a member of the Portland Police Bureau described as one of the most complex and far reaching investigations that the traffic division has ever been involved in, the tragedy of a hit and run accident that left a 63-year-old woman dead was compounded by a cover-up effort that eventually involved not only the driver, but five other co-defendants. The driver in the hit-and-run case pleaded guilty to manslaughter in court recently, and was sentenced to 75 months in prison. She was caught despite efforts by the five others to disguise her car, hide it on private property and also spirit her out of the state to avoid capture and prosecution. She was finally captured in Bellingham, Washington, after police followed tips that led them to the fugitive and her car. Her sentence is equivalent to just over six years and her license was also revoked for life. She confessed to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at a Timbers game before driving on the evening of the crime. The victim was found lying in the roadway just after 11 p.m. Meanwhile, also entering pleas to various hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence charges was a team of apparently misguided friends and family. The cover-up included the driver’s boyfriend, her brother, a woman who was a passenger in the hit-and-run vehicle, that woman’s husband and a co-worker. The cover-up team received sentences that ranged from 10 to 40 days in jail, plus fines, community service and probationary periods. Used car parts were utilized to alter the appearance of the vehicle involved. During the sentencing hearing, the family of the dead woman expressed shock not only at the devastating loss of the victim but also the elaborate cover-up after the crime itself. Leaving the scene of a traffic accident involving serious injury or death is an aggravated offense. To hit a person and leave the hapless victim on the side of the road is an offense that can result in heavy punishment, as the 75 months sentence to the intoxicated driver in this case shows. And, the case can also lead to a civil lawsuit on the part of the victim or the victim’s family, to pursue financial compensation for the resulting expenses. Source: NWCN.COM, Driver gets 6 years in deadly Burnside hit-and-run, cover-up, November 6, 2012