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Jury Deciding Fate Of Teacher Accused In Deadly Hit & Run

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - The jury hearing the manslaughter case centering on a hit-and-run crash that caused the death of six-year-old John Raidy started deliberations Wednesday afternoon, but have since recessed for the day. Judge Carter Thompson sent the panel home after about 90 minutes.

Former Grand Prairie schoolteacher Tammy Lowe is accused of running a red light and hitting Raidy, then fleeing the scene. She has already pleaded guilty to one felony, Failure to Stop and Render Aid. Her defense team is trying to get the jury to reduce the other charge -- Manslaughter-- to Criminally Negligent Homicide.

Tammy Lowe's team did not argue whether she hit 6-year-old John Raidy and carried him nearly 300 feet, causing his death.

"She ran a red light," defense attorney James Lee Bright told the court. "Did she panic? Did she freak out? Was she scared?" he asked, and answered his own questions as yes.

But Bright argued Lowe did not intend to hurt the boy when she ran the light and hit him as he moved in a pedestrian crosswalk. The death, Bright said, did not rise to the level of Manslaughter. "And she made a horrible choice. She made a horrible choice to leave and go, and leave the disaster behind that she left."

Prosecutors claim Lowe's car was a deadly weapon; and in earlier testimony Grand Prairie Police accident investigator Tommy Hendrick described how investigators found her car half-washed, and with several other attempts to, they say, cover up evidence of her striking the boy.

"The front half of the car was washed. The back half was dirty, and the hood of the vehicle appeared to have been tampered with," Hendrick testified.

Prosecutor Danielle Uher told the jury that during their deliberations they shouldn't be swayed by the fact that Lowe plead guilty to the Failure to Stop charge. "She doesn't get credit for that. It's not 'We're going to give her some extra goodness because she waived her trial over that.' But she shouldn't get bonus points because she stood up and plead guilty. That's not how the system is supposed to work."

No matter what the jury eventually decides, the trial will continue. The same jury will decide what it thinks the appropriate punishment is for Tammy Lowe.

Jury deliberations get back underway on Thursday.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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