By Marice Richter
DALLAS (Reuters) - A former Texas school teacher was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison for killing a 6-year-old boy in a hit-and-run accident that prompted a highly publicized manhunt in 2013.
Tammy Lowe, 54, was founded guilty and sentenced to eight years in the death of John Paul Raidy, who was struck in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie while crossing a street at an intersection with his mother as she pushed his younger sister in a stroller.
The veteran Grand Prairie middle school teacher was also sentenced to 10 years for failure to stop and render aid. She pleaded guilty to the charge before testimony began in her trial earlier this week.
The sentences will run concurrently and she must serve at least five years before being eligible for parole, a spokesman for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office said.
Lowe sobbed as she recounted how she panicked after hitting the boy and drove away in January 2013. Police said she ran a red light.
"I was sweating and not thinking anything rational, just I’m going to die, I’ve got to get out of here,” Lowe testified.
After the accident, a manhunt for the driver garnered statewide attention.
Lowe quit her job, turned herself in and confessed to the crime five days after it took place, police said.
The boy's mother, Lauren Raidy, made an emotional appeal for a conviction.
"Nothing is going to bring my John back," Raidy testified. "She did what she did and needs to pay for it."
(Reporting by Marice Richter; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Beech)