Hit-and-run driver sentenced for killing Good Samaritan

April 13, 2012 1:50:17 PM PDT
It was an emotional day in court Friday as a mother pleaded with the judge to give her daughter's killer the maximum sentence.

For the first time, the mother and the man who ran her daughter over and left her to die on the street locked eyes.

"He has taken away the most important person in our lives and she's never coming back," said Corrine Nellius, the victim's mother.

Sitting just feet from 39-year-old Brian McCauslin, Corrine Nellius begged the judge to give him the maximum sentence under a plea deal he made.

The deal is for just seven years for running her daughter down with his truck and leaving her to die in the middle of the street.

"When he agreed to the plea deal all he said was I hit someone and left. Well that person Brian has a name! Her name is Tiffany Jantelle, and thank you, for the first time in your life looking me in the eyes, you killed my daughter!" Nellius said.

It was June 18 of last year on a road in Franklin.

23-year-old Tiffany Jantelle had stopped her car to help a dog that had been hit and was in the middle of the road.

McCauslin came around a curve in his truck and ran right over Tiffany who was holding the dog in her arms.

"After the defendant struck Miss Jantelle, he exited the vehicle walked up to her, saw the injuries she sustained, then got into his truck and fled from the scene," said Brian Stack, Assistant Prosecutor.

It's believed he was drinking that night, but there was no proof because he ran.

Police tracked him down four days later in Pennsylvania.

"Now I spend every day twice a day at the cemetery," Nellius said.

Tiffany loved life, her family, and loved riding horses.

She was a beautiful, caring young woman who rushed to help a dog that had been hit.

She was nothing at all like the man who hit her and then cared more about himself.

He had five prior convictions for speeding and one for DUI.

Even the judge was disgusted.

So he got the maximum sentence of seven years in state prison, but with time served he could be up for parole in six months!

That's little comfort for Tiffany's family.

"There is a hole in my heart that can never be filled," Nellius said, "At the end the truth of the matter is he will be faced with the biggest judge of all, God!"

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