UPDATE: Driver who killed runner sentenced to four years - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Driver who killed runner sentenced to four years

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Valerie Bray, driver accused of killing runner Cameron Bean, was sentenced Thursday.

Bray pleaded guilty in February, but was sentenced to a maximum of four years as Judge Greenholtz worked to determine the details of her sentencing.

During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Greenholtz told Bray that the court didn't believe her reasons for the deadly accident. Greenholtz also said "The statement the sun was in your eyes was an effort to distance yourself from the responsibility of the harm you caused."

Family and friends of Cameron Bean were in the courtroom as the sentencing was announced.

Greenholtz determined that Bray will serve one year of the sentence at the the Silverdale workhouse and another three years on probation.


PREVIOUS STORY: Emotions ran high in the courtroom Wednesday where a Hamilton County judge will soon decide the fate of a woman who hit and killed a local runner. 

Valerie Bray pleaded guilty in December to charges relating to the 2015 incident that killed Cameron Bean. The sentencing hearing began at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon and lasted for more than five hours.

Judge Tom Greenholtz did not sentence Bray and said the hearing will continue on March 3. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Valerie Bray, the woman charged with the 2015 crash that killed local runner Cameron Bean, has made a plea deal in the case.

Bray pleaded guilty to two felony charges; criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

While in court Tuesday, Asst. DA Lance Pope explained to the judge how the fatal crash happened, saying Bray was returning to work at Moccasin Bend Mental Health Facility after her lunch break.
    
While driving she crossed the middle lines and struck Cameron, who was running on the other side of the road.
    
Bray told police she thought she hit a deer and continued driving.
    
Cameron died in the hospital two days later.

Bray faces 1-2 years in prison for each felony charge.

Bray's attorney Bill Speek said she feels there was some negligence her her part, which led to the guilty plea.

"She is so distraught over the situation and has been, it's very difficult for her to even look at what happened without breaking down," Speek said.

Cameron's mother, Lisa Bean, said her family is now dedicated to honoring Cameron's life and keeping his memory alive.  There is now a permanent memorial on Moccasin Bend Road, a 5k road race in his honor, and a memorial fund has been established to help young Chattanooga athletes.

"Although nothing that happens here changes anything in our life. We will miss him for the rest of our lives, so nothing here, there's no closure or anything," Lisa said, "The day he was hit was the day we lost him, and our family will never be the same."

Bray is currently out on bond and will remain on bond until her sentencing date on Feb. 1st.


PREVIOUS STORY: The woman accused of hitting and killing a well-known Chattanooga running coach appeared in court Friday morning to be formally charged.

Valerie Bray appeared in Hamilton County Criminal Court to be formally charged with vehicular homicide. 

A grand jury recently indicted Bray on the charge, following the September 19 crash that killed 28-year-old Cameron Bean.

Police say Bray hit Bean and kept driving. She later said the sun was in her eyes.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Driver indicted in runner's hit-and-run death

Friday morning in court, Bray chose not to enter a plea. Her attorney says he has yet to see the State's evidence in the case, but he does not believe Bray is a criminal.

"She's a 20-year employee of Moccasin Bend; she is harmless," says Bill Speek, Bray's attorney. "She would never intentionally hurt somebody at all. I think the facts will come out that she was liable for the accident, but she's not a criminal." 

Bray will return to court on February 9.

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