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.