2016-01-12 / Front Page

Suspect Sentenced January 6th In Connection With Fatal Hit-And-Run

Staff Report

William Tracy Lucas, 40, of Connecticut, appeared in the Owen Circuit Court I on Wednesday afternoon (January 6th) where he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, a class D felony. The charge stemmed from an investigation conducted in 2011 by representatives of the Owen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Owen County Sheriff’s Department following the hit-andrun death of 12-year-old William “Billy” Bottoms on State Road 42 just west of the Cunot Community Center.

According to the testimony at the hearing, Lucas and his wife, Tabitha Blake Lucas, were driving to their rural Poland residence on State Road 42 late in the evening on January 22, 2011 when his wife struck the boy (who was reportedly wearing dark clothing and walking along the white fog line on the edge of the road) as he was on his way home from an event at the Cunot Community Center. After the two realized that they struck and injured the boy, they got back in the car and continued to their residence. In the days following the incident, Mr. Lucas and others attempted to repair the damage to the family’s car in an effort to conceal the crime. In the meantime, young Bottoms succumbed to his injuries.

After being formally charged on February 10, 2011, Mr. Lucas bonded out of jail and left Indiana with court permission to pursue work in Kentucky. Despite being ordered to appear for future hearings, Lucas failed to return to Owen County to face trial and a warrant was issued for his arrest in March of 2013. After an extensive search to locate Mr. Lucas by the Owen County Prosecutor’s Office, he was arrested and extradited back to Indiana from the state of Connecticut in July of 2015.

Owen County Prosecutor Don VanDerMoere reported that Mr. Lucas pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement and was sentenced to three years at the Department of Corrections with two years executed and one year suspended to probation.

Tabitha Blake Lucas was sentenced in October 2012 to the Department of Corrections by former Owen County Circuit Court Judge Frank Nardi for failing to stop after an accident resulting in death, a class C-Felony. She pleaded open to the charge and faced a sentencing range of two to eight years in prison.

After an emotional three-hour sentencing hearing, Judge Nardi sentenced Lucas to six years with two years of initial executed time to the Department of Corrections and four years suspended to probation.

Lucas said she did not see the boy, who was wearing dark clothing and was walking along the white fog line on the edge of the road. She told authorities she realized she hit something, turned around and drove back to find a group of people standing beside the boy’s body.

She said she panicked and left. When she got to her sister’s house, she told her she had hit a deer with the car.

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