Christy Littleford found guilty by jury in hit-and-run killing of Natasha Pettigrew
After deliberating for a little more than an hour Thursday night, a jury found Christy Littleford guilty of felony hit-and-run charges in the death of Natasha Pettigrew.
Pettigrew was riding her bike at about 5 a.m., training for a triathlon, when she was struck and killed on September 19, 2010.
Littleford, 41, the driver, claims she thought she hit a deer and that's why she didn't stop, but drove home.
Prosecutors say it is what that Littleford did after the crash that likely swayed jurors most.
She went home, then back to the scene never identifying herself, and then to the hospital, asking a relative to get information on the victim. All before finally going to the police four hours after the collision.
Prosecutors say jurors simply didn't buy her story that she thought she'd hit a deer.
"The fact of the matter is she had a bicycle tangled up under her SUV...She went home and even when she came back to the scene...she never identified herself as being involved in the accident."
Sentencing will be on August 3. Prosecutors say Littleford could get up to ten years.
Pettigrew's mother is also filing a civil suit.
Wednesday: Trial begins in hit-and-run death of bicyclist, Senate candidate
The trial for a woman accused in a deadly hit and run got underway today in Upper Marlboro.
Natasha Pettigrew, the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland at the time, was riding her bike at about 5 a.m. when she was struck and killed on September 19, 2010.
Christy Littleford, 41, the driver, claims she thought she hit a deer and that's why she didn't stop, but drove home.
Littleford called police four hours after hitting Pettigrew, apparently when she spotted a bicycle under her SUV.
The photographic evidence in this case may be the most important for the jury: The bicycle wedged under Littleford's SUV, the clear dent from Natasha Pettigrew's head on the driver's side hood.
Prosecutors say Littleford had to know she hit someone on a bicycle. The victim's mother, Kennis Henry, says there is no doubt.
"I just can't imagine anyone could be.driving and think they hit a deer riding a bicycle," Henry says.
There is no dispute that on September 19th, 2010, at about 5 a.m., Littleford, driving her Cadillac Escalade, hit Pettigrew as she rode her bicycle along Rt. 202.
Littleford didn't stop. Instead, she drove three miles home on a flat tire, dragging the sparking bike the whole way.
She maintains she thought she'd hit a deer until she got home. Police never believed that.
She's charged with hit and run and several other related crimes.
She's also being sued by Henry.
"There's no.two ways about it," says Joel Duboff, Henry's attorney. "she knew what she hit and she just didn't want to.stop."
Pettigrew, 30, was the Green Party candidate for the United States Senate from Maryland. She was on leave from her studies at the University of Miami Law School while she ran for the Senate.
And she was an avid cyclist, training for a triathlon.
Her mother says she just wants justice done in her name.
"I want her to know that in taking my daughter's life she actually took two lives because my life will never be the same again," Henry says.
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