An Upper Marlboro woman was sentenced Aug. 3 to one year in prison and three years of supervised release for a 2010 hit-and-run where she struck and killed a U.S. Senate candidate.
Christy Littleford, 43, was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and complete 240 hours of community service by Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge John Paul Davey.
She was convicted of a hit-and-run causing personal injury and leaving the scene of an accident that caused bodily harm after she struck Natasha Pettigrew, 30, who was riding her bicycle along MD Route 202 training for a half-marathon Sept. 19, 2010.
Littleford faced up to 10 years in prison for charges relating to the hit-and-run.
Davey said in ruling on the case he took into consideration that she had no prior driving violations or criminal charges and did not try to dissolve evidence or hide from authorities.
“There’s no indication that the accident was caused by impairment or speed or being distracted,” he said. “But a life was taken that cannot be restored.”
During the incident, she was found to have driven her Cadillac Escalade three miles to her home with Pettigrew’s bicycle pinned under her car before she allegedly discovered she hit a bicyclist. Her defense attorney, Suitland-based Joseph Vallario III, said Littleford initially thought she hit a deer and was shocked to learn that she was involved in the fatal collision.
Vallario said there was no indication that Littleford knew what she had hit during the 5:28 a.m. incident and said she went to the hospital after learning she struck a person and later went to the nearest county police district station.
“She isn’t a person who is trying to hide or trying to deceive,” he said. “She is a person with a good heart.”
Kenniss Henry, Pettigrew’s mother, said her daughter lived for 36 hours before she succumbed to her injuries and that Littlefold will still have a full life. She said Pettigrew was a law student at the University of Miami and has aspirations to become a family court judge.
“She was the wind beneath my wings,” Henry said. “She was my absolute best friend. There’s nothing I can do to replace her. There’s a void in my heart.”
Since the fatal incident, Henry created a scholarship fund for graduating seniors at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, where Pettigrew attended.
Anthony Littleford, Christy Littleford’s husband who declined to comment following the sentence, said in court that his wife was very concerned about the victim at the time and will never be able to move past the tragedy that he said was a complete accident without malice or intention.
“Ever since the incident, my wife has not been the same, nor has my family. My wife would not hurt nobody,” he said to Davey while in tears.
Henry said while there are no winners in the case, she is no longer the only loser and said she did feel some validation when seeing Christy Littleford be handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom.
“It is important for drivers to pay attention when they are driving,” said Deputy State’s Attorney Donnell Turner. “And further, if you believe that you have hit something or someone, it is imperative that you remain on the scene of the accident.”