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Detra Farries Sentenced To 20 Years For Dragging Death

The woman convicted of dragging a tow truck driver to his death was sentenced Friday. The presiding judge said it was one of the toughest cases of her career.

Detra Farries received a 20-year prison sentence for leaving the scene of an accident, and 12-year sentences for both manslaughter and vehicular homicide. Her terms will be served concurrently — meaning she will serve a total of 20 years in prison. Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence of 24 years. Farries’ convictions did not require she serve any time behind bars.

“It was a fair and right sentence,” said prosecutor Jeff Lindsey. “It’s important that the judge recognized the impact on the community. Witnesses who saw this were traumatized beyond belief and suffered greatly as a result of (Farries’) actions.”

In February 2011, Farries drove off as Rose was preparing to tow her SUV. He got caught in a cable he had attached to her vehicle and was dragged for more than a mile. Farries continued driving after Rose’s body was left in the roadway.

For the first time in the case, Farries addressed the courtroom and spoke about what happened. The mother of eight sobbed as she asked for mercy from the judge and she never knew she was dragging Rose.

“I didn’t mean for it, I didn’t know,” said Farries tearfully.

She said she takes full responsibility for her actions.

Neither family commented after the sentencing, but Lindsey spoke on behalf of Rose’s widow, Renee.

“I think she’s relieved,” said Lindsey. “She’s happy that it’s over and she doesn’t have to come to court any more.”

Farries’ public defenders, Jeremy Loew and Eydie Elkins, described her as a religious woman and a hard-working, loving mother who was villainized by the public and the media.

“I think the public assumed she was a monster,” said Elkins. “That she knew exactly what she was doing, that she knew (Rose) was back there. She had no idea he was behind her. No clue, ever.”

Loew and Elkins said they believe attention the case attracted played a role in sentencing.

“I said to the judge, ‘I would not want to be in your position because the public outcry, they are demanding a severe punishment.’ When somebody in a similar situation without the media, without the public may have only received a probation sentence,” said Loew.

A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said Farries must serve a third of her sentence, just under seven years, before she is eligible for parole. She said it’s unlikely Farries will get out of prison before serving 10 years.

Farries has another trial scheduled for May 29 on a charge of driving with a revoked license during the incident.

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