That October night, the couple had been arguing in Dates-Bell’s car before Threadcraft got out and started walking near the intersection of Fairington Road and Willowick Drive. It was too dark to see the man standing in the road until it was too late to stop, the delivery driver testified at trial.
Data from the car showed the driver tried to swerve to avoid Threadcraft, according to Claire Simms Chaffins, a spokesperson for the DeKalb district attorney’s office.
Soon after the initial impact, other drivers saw the accident scene and stopped. A blue car, however, went around the crowd and ran over Threadcraft as the delivery driver screamed for it to stop, according to the 911 recording. Threadcraft was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators later determined that Dates-Bell was driving the blue car, which belonged to her mother. After running over Threadcraft, she sped away and eventually left the car at a friend’s house in North Carolina before fleeing to New York, the jury heard at trial. An anonymous tipster told police where to find the car, and blood that matched Threadcraft’s DNA was found underneath it.
Just 30 minutes before Threadcraft was hit, the couple’s argument was recorded on surveillance footage from inside a house where they were visiting, Chaffins said. In the video, according to prosecutors, she threatened to run him over.
The argument continued in the car, and then over the phone once Threadcraft got out to walk, Chaffins said. He told Dates-Bell where he was so that she could come pick him up.
In addition to criminal attempt and hit-and-run charges, a jury found Dates-Bell, now 36, guilty of aggravated assault and tampering with evidence. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson sentenced her to serve 20 years in prison with another five years on probation.
— Staff writer Chelsea Prince contributed to this article.