Woman accused of hitting and killing a Chattanooga police officer is arrested again after grand jury indicts her for DUI

Woman accused of hitting and killing a Chattanooga police officer is arrested again after grand jury indicts her for DUI

April 23rd, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

Janet Hinds

Janet Hinds

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Janet Hinds, the woman accused of hitting and killing a Chattanooga police officer in February, has been arrested again after a grand jury indicted her on the slew of charges she already faced and added one more: DUI.

Police say Hinds, 55, hit 38-year-old Officer Nicholas Galinger along Hamill Road in Hixson while driving home late at night on Feb. 23. Galinger was inspecting an overflowing manhole cover after recent heavy rains.

Hinds fled the scene and did not turn herself in until two days later on Feb. 25.

Her Tuesday arrest comes as a result of the new DUI charge after the grand jury indictment on the same day.

The vehicular homicide charge also was upgraded to vehicular homicide by intoxication.

Notably, a copy of the indictment shows that prosecutors summoned a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab analyst to testify before the grand jury. The indictment does not detail what was said during the presentment, but the analyst likely provided information upon which to base the intoxication charges.

Hinds' defense attorney Ben McGowan did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz set her bond in the DUI charge at $7,500. She faces no additional bail on the upgraded vehicular homicide by intoxication charge.

That additional bond amount was set at the judge's discretion, Hamilton County district attorney spokeswoman Melydia Clewell said. That brings her total bond to $160,500, but she will only have to pay 10% of the additional $7,500 to be released from jail.

Hinds' original bond was set at $300,000, but General Sessions Court Judge Alex McVeagh reduced the bond to $153,000 on March 5. She posted bail the next day.

Prosecutors said they planned to seek additional impaired-driving charges against Hinds during a March 5 preliminary hearing. They spent most of the roughly four-hour hearing presenting evidence showing the amount of alcohol she drank the evening of the crash on Feb. 23.

With receipts and security footage as evidence, prosecutors said Hinds had four beers, totaling 76 ounces — four more ounces than a six-pack of beer — and a lemon drop vodka shot at a Ringgold, Georgia, restaurant earlier that night.

Hinds arrived at the restaurant at 7:02 p.m. and stayed until shortly after 10:30 p.m.

She finished her last beer — a 16-ounce Michelob Ultra — at 10:29 p.m. and closed her tab at 10:37 p.m. That was 26 minutes before Galinger was struck in the 2900 block of Hamill Road.

Prosecutors said Hinds was driving an estimated 47-52 mph in a 35 mph zone and did not appear to stop.

McGowan argued that Hamill Road wasn't visible: A road sign over the overflowing manhole had lost its reflective sign, and the officers were dressed in navy blue. He challenged the speeding estimate and said the defense would hire an expert to examine Hinds' car data for a more accurate speed. He also suggested Hinds was purposely driving closer to the center line to avoid rain buildup closer to the guardrail on the right.

Chattanooga police Officer Jarrod Justice, who was at the scene of the crash as Galinger's field training officer, said Galinger was thrown over the Honda CR-V's roof and landed about 160 feet down the road, according to investigators.

Galinger had just graduated from the police academy a month before his death.

He was buried in his hometown of Cincinnati on March 1.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

Read more about deadly hit-and-run of Chattanooga police officer

 


Loading...