Triplet Trial Ends With Guilty Verdict

UPDATE:

The woman accused of hitting a group of girls in Hudson and killing one of the triplets has been found guilty on all charges.

Isabella, Gabrielle and Delaney Rossman — 5-year-old triplet sisters — were playing with a friend outside their home in November 2010 when Betty Jo Tagerson drove her Jeep into their yard and hit them.

Delaney was killed while her sisters and their friend, Marissa Manuli, were injured. Gabrielle suffered serious injuries and spent more than a week in the hospital.

On Wednesday afternoon the jury convicted Tagerson on charges of vehicular homicide, culpable negligence manslaughter, and two counts of reckless driving with serious injury.

She faces up to 25 years in prison.

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Original story:

The Hudson sisters who were hit by a vehicle while playing in a neighbor’s front yard in November 2010 testified in court today about the evening their other sister was killed.

Police say the triplets, Isabella, Delaney and Gabrielle Rossman, were outside in the yard when Betty Jo Tagerson Drove her Jeep into a crowd of children.

Delaney was killed, while Gabrielle suffered serious injuries, including two broken clavicles, a broken pelvis, broken ribs, a broken right leg and internal bleeding.

Isabella and Gabrielle, now 7, took the stand separately and answered questions about the accident. The girls’ mother Danielle Malm, also testified.

Investigators said Tagerson slammed into the group of kids with her Jeep after an argument with her boyfriend.

The girls mother, Daniella Malm, told jurors about how she found her daughter.

“When I got to the scene her head was turned and eyes were fixed,” she said. “There is no other way to say that. They were facing up and she never looked toward me. They stayed in that position the entire time. I remember breathing for her and not doing her chest compressions because I would breathe because there was blood coming out of her mouth and every time they pushed on her chest there would be blood. Nobody else wanted to do it.”

Isabella took the stand and told jurors about her sister.

“I remember seeing her on the grass,” she said. “She wouldn’t breathe, but I remember somebody helping her trying to breathe but she still wouldn’t breathe.”

Gabrielle also took the stand. She was injured during the crash. Her mom remembers her cries for help.

“I scooped her up. She was breathing. She was screaming,” Malm said, “so I guessed she was in better shape than Delaney because she was breathing.”

Tagerson is being charged with vehicular homicide, negligent manslaughter and two counts of reckless driving with serious injury. She could face 25 years in prison if convicted. Her attorney, Dennis Watson, counters that his client blacked out while driving and the result was a terrible accident.

Tagerson, who became emotional while listening to the sisters’ testimonies, is expected to testify in her own defense during the trial.

 

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News Talk Florida Staff