NWGA Scanner | September 26th, 2021

Janet Hinds found guilty of vehicular homicide by intoxication in the death of Officer Nicholas Galinger

A Hamilton County Criminal Court Jury found Janet Elaine Hinds guilty today of vehicular homicide by intoxication. The verdict follows a four-day trial in which the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office presented evidence that Ms. Hinds was intoxicated when the vehicle she was driving struck and killed 38-year-old Chattanooga Police Officer Nicholas Galinger on Hamill Road on February 23, 2019. District Attorney General Neal Pinkston told the jury that earlier the same evening, Ms. Hinds had consumed 76 ounces of beer and one shot of vodka at the Farm to Fork restaurant in Ringgold, Georgia. General Pinkston said that Officer Galinger, a rookie accompanied by his field training officer, was inspecting an overflowing manhole cover when Ms. Hinds’ vehicle struck him and threw his body more than 160 feet down the road. Ms. Hinds fled the scene, but as the police investigation led to a warrant being issued for her arrest, she turned herself in the following Monday morning. In his opening statement on the first day of the trial, Executive Assistant District Attorney Cameron Williams, co-counsel for the prosecution, told the jury that “All she had to do was ask for a ride home.” The jury, which was brought in from the Nashville area and sequestered, deliberated about 15 hours before finding Ms. Hinds guilty of the following charges: Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Injury for Death, Failure to Report an Accident, Speeding, Failure to Exercise Due Care, Failure to Maintain Lane and Driving Under the Influence.Judge Don Poole set a sentencing date for November 1, 2021. Ms. Hinds was taken into custody until the conditions of her bond are met and confirmed. She will then continue to remain on house arrest until her sentencing date. General Pinkston said Hinds faces a potential sentence of 8 to 12 years in prison.