Howard Lininger, 84, has pleaded guilty to failure to stop after an accident resulting in injury or death. His plea deal leaves him with no jail time. He will receive a six year sentence that he can serve on probation, wane reports.
Haley Nancarrow, 25, was found on Nov. 18, 2014, near an intersection in Fort Wayne, Indiana, after having been hit by Lininger. Police found her body lying about five feet off of the road wearing a dark coat. Her family said she was walking back to a friend’s house to get a ride.
Police found that she had been hit by a car and immediately started looking for a brown SUV that witnesses had seen pulled over with hazard lights flashing. They then saw the SUV pull away a few moments later, according to wane.
Lininger called his grandson to ask for advice the next day. His grandson is a police officer and even though he did not know the specifics of the story, he suggested that Lininger contact police. However, Lininger’s grandson quickly connected the dots after reading about the hit and run.
After going over to Lininger’s house to inspect his Subaru, the grandson called his supervisor. His supervisor then contacted Fort Wayne police.
Fort Wayne police visited Lininger’s house and inspected his Subaru. They found damage that coincided with Nancarrow’s injuries. The hood was dented, the side mirror was broken and the windshield was smashed. However, Lininger originally told police that he had stopped after someone threw an unopened whiskey bottle at his car.
Documents later revealed that a whiskey bottle with Nancarrow’s palm prints was found in Lininger’s car.
Police officers said they did not believe Lininger could have found a whiskey bottle without noticing Nancarrow’s body in the snow. Police stated that they believed Lininger knew he had hit someone and chose to leave the sight of the crash.
Lininger was arrested on December 7. He pleaded guilty on February 11, and will not be allowed to operate motor vehicles during his six year probation.