FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 7, 2018
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
WEST VIRGINIA DRIVER SENTENCED FOR ROUTE 15 TRAFFIC FATALITY
JUDGE IMPOSES 12 MONTHS IN LOUDOUN ADULT DETENTION CENTER
LEESBURG, Virginia – March 6, 2018. Jimmy Hartman, 22, appeared before the Circuit Court of Loudoun County, for sentencing on one count of reckless driving. Judge Douglas L. Fleming Jr. sentenced Hartman to serve twelve months in the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.
On the morning of March 22, 2017, Hartman was driving south on Route 15 near the intersection of Montresor Road when his vehicle crossed the double yellow line and struck a Subaru in the northbound lane of Route 15 killing the driver. Hartman remained at the scene of the accident. Upon speaking with responding Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Hartman stated that he “fell asleep for a second.” Further investigation revealed that Hartman was not under the influence of alcohol or narcotics and he was not using his cellular phone at the time of the accident. However, he acknowledged that he hadn’t been getting much sleep lately due to work, but despite knowing he was exhausted and extremely tired he chose to drive that morning. Hartman was subsequently indicted for reckless driving.
The victim, Michael Anthony Larrick, 29, worked in the IT field and had recently been married five months prior to the accident. Seven witnesses testified for the Commonwealth at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing. The victim’s family and friends spoke about how this tragedy has impacted their lives. The victim’s mother asked Hartman to look behind him in the courtroom at the more than thirty friends and family who were in attendance. These are our family and friends, she said. “These are my children. There’s one missing,” said the victim’s mother. When the victim’s wife took the stand, she forgave Hartman and asked him to live the best life he could. She went on to ask the Court to include community service to victims and other young adults as part of Hartman’s sentence.
Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ryan W. Perry, asked the Court to craft a sentence that would send a message to other drivers that their choices have consequences and there is a cost for their actions. “When [Hartman] got behind the wheel of that car he made a choice.” “It was his actions that caused this,” said Perry. “This has to be a sentence that not only punishes for the loss inflicted, but also sends a message to every other driver in the Commonwealth,” continued Perry.
Before pronouncing a sentence, Judge Fleming addressed everyone in the courtroom. “Justice and fairness are impossible reaches in many cases and in this case,” said Fleming. Mr. Hartman’s conduct “unintentionally and unlawfully” had a far reaching, severe and negative impact. Fleming acknowledged that the victim impact testimony was “compelling, persuasive, profound, and heart-wrenching,” and that this case should serve as a “cautionary tale” for anyone who makes choices to get behind the wheel of a car when they are fatigued.
In addition to the active jail sentence, Judge Fleming imposed a $2,500 suspended fine, placed Hartman on supervised probation for twelve months, and ordered him to participate as a speaker in the county's Victim Impact Panel program every month for twelve months upon his release from jail. Hartman’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended for six months.