GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The woman charged in last May’s fatal hit-and-run, which left Brittany Lawson and her dog dead, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday.
A Greenville County judge accepted Veronica Dawn Tharp’s guilty pleas for leaving the scene of an accident with death, reckless homicide and 1st-degree burglary at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
Tharp received the following sentences, which will run concurrently:
- Hit & run resulting in death: 25 years
- 1st-degree burglary: 25 years
- Reckless homicide: 10 years
According to police, Tharp was driving a stolen vehicle when she crossed two lanes of oncoming traffic, driving onto the sidewalk and striking 38-year-old Lawson and her dog, who were walking.
“Driving an automobile is a dangerous thing,” explained 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins. “Making bad, illegal choices before you drive an automobile can cause severe consequences.”
After the collision, Tharp ran away and was found to be operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license. Prosecutors said she tried to disguise herself by changing her clothes.
“Three officers literally checked hundreds of locations — houses, a bank and other businesses — for any video footage that we could locate to help make the case,” said Wilkins.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Tharp said she took “full responsibility” for her actions.
“This is a consequence you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life,” said Judge J.D. Morgan, Jr.
“Her time in prison will never return Brittany to me,” added Scott Lawson, Brittany’s widower.
Lawson’s family said they will never stop missing nor loving her. They hope Brittany will continue to impact their lives and others.
“We pray that Brittany’s life will inspire others to more intentionally embrace the time we have,” said Courtney Tollison Hartness.