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Crime

Columbia police officer gets probation in child’s death

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A judge has given probation to a Columbia police officer who fatally ran over a child outside a school in 2019.

Andria Heese, who pleaded guilty to careless and imprudent driving in the death of a 4-year-old girl in June, was sentenced to two years of supervised probation Thursday at the Boone County Courthouse.

A sentencing memo filed June 30 did not recommend a sentence for Heese, but noted that her chance of committing future crimes is low. She will also perform 40 hours of community service.

Heese had been charged with manslaughter in the  January 2019 death of 4-year-old Gabriella Curry before special prosecutor Kevin Hillman reduced charges in June. After Heese hit Curry with her patrol cruiser in front of Battle High School, a Missouri State Highway Patrol investigator said that Heese should have slowed down as she turned onto the sidewalk during school dismissal.

Curry was at the school with her parents, who were driving district buses.

Heese has no previous criminal convictions or traffic tickets and expressed remorse for the incident that killed Curry. Harris said the seriousness of the crime requires two years of probation. Court records say the Curry family supports probation instead of jail.

Testifying at her sentencing, Heese told the court her "heart is broken."

Hillman said it was one of the most "tragic" cases he's seen.

Heese and her lawyer, Donald Weaver, declined to comment after the hearing.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. – A police officer pleads guilty to driving carelessly and imprudently.
    – Her C & I driving results in the death of a 4-year-old child walking on the sidewalk.
    – A preventable death had the police officer been abiding by the law, a law she would have
    arrested a private citizen for breaking.
    – Police officer’s crime was committed in a Columbia Public School parking lot and witnessed by several people.
    – A protracted 2.5-year investigation takes place Columbia police AND the Missouri State Highway Patrol
    – Her sentence for driving recklessly, hitting and killing a child?
    – Probation and 40 days???
    – Columbia Police Department takes care of their own; especially the guilty. Shame and disgust on Columbia
    Police, all legal representation, the court, including the judge.

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