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Woman sentenced for leaving the scene of fatal accident

Updated: December 20, 2013 9:04PM

Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., sentenced a Hebron woman to 18 months on probation for failure to stop after an accident in which her car struck and killed a man walking along the road.

Kelly Nicole Griffin, 34, admitted she struck Otis Butler on Dec. 8, 2011, as she was driving east on U.S. 231 near Montgomery Street in unincorporated Lake County near Hebron. Butler, who was walking westbound on the roadway when he was struck, died from his injuries.

Griffith drove home, then returned to the crash scene before leaving again. When she got back home, she was met by Hebron police and Lake County officers.

Deputy prosecutor Michael Haynes said Butler had Alzheimer’s disease and had gotten out of the house. He was walking on a dark stretch of highway when the crash occurred. At the time, Griffith had no insurance and her car had expired plates.

Defense attorney Paul Stracci said his client panicked on the desolate stretch of highway and left.

Griffith expressed remorse for her actions.

Stefaniak ordered $5,000 in restitution to help with funeral and travel expenses for Butler’s family. Judgment on the charge was entered as a misdemeanor.

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