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Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ottawa mother gets jail sentence for son’s death after he was hit by vehicle

March 14, 2012

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A judge has sentenced a 40-year-old Ottawa woman to serve one year in jail after her 4-year-old son was struck by a vehicle last March and later died.

Tammy Lynn Payne had pleaded no contest in December to two counts of child endangerment and one count of DUI with a prior conviction. All three charges are misdemeanors.

Franklin County Attorney Heather Jones said Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball ordered Payne to serve one year in jail on each count, but she would be released after 12 months to serve the remaining two years on probation.

Prosecutors last year charged Payne after Ottawa police said her son Alex Bowles-Gregg died from his injuries March 12, 2011, after he was struck by the family’s vehicle outside their home in the 1000 block of South Cottonwood Street in Ottawa.

Jones said that day Payne was drunk and driving around with her two toddlers in the vehicle. When she came home, Payne got out of the vehicle to assist her significant other with a medical problem. Her son Alex had also gotten out of the car, and the vehicle rolled backward and ran over him.

Prosecutors said Payne’s blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit to drive hours after the incident took place.

“This was not an accident, as accidents cannot be avoided,” Jones said. “This, rather, was a tragedy that the state felt could have been avoided had the defendant been sober at the time.”

The judge also ordered Payne to follow recommendations of her drug and alcohol evaluation, obtain a mental health evaluation and follow those recommendations, and pay court costs plus a $1,000 fine for the DUI conviction.

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