PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) – The woman who admitted to hitting a 12-year-old boy with her car and then taking off will serve jail time. On Wednesday, Christine Shuman took a plea deal, as the victim and his family addressed the court with emotional testimony.
Brandon Thompson had just left church in Portales last March when a car driven by Christine Shuman struck him.
“One year ago, Christine Shuman ran me over and left me to die, and I’ve had to start my life all over again,” he said. Brandon, who was 12 at the time, was severely injured after the crash.
He told the court, “Due to my injuries, I am required to special student services. Changes in my speech and physical state, and I cannot participate in contact sports. I am struggling with anger, frustration, and sadness.”
Shuman was driving with her two young children in the car. She told police she turned around to discipline them when she swerved and hit Brandon. She explained that she fled the scene of the accident because she panicked. Then, she drove home and covered her car with a tarp.
Shuman said, “From not seeing what I hit and everything, how my kids reacted, I didn’t know how to react, and home just felt like the safest place.”
Shuman was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, tampering with evidence, and careless driving. She was emotional in court.
“It was a bad mistake. I know I made a lot of bad choices that night,” she said.
The prosecutor on the case pleaded with the judge to punish Shuman with time behind bars. “For the sake of justice, and for the sake of the family, for the sake of the community punishment, in this case, is warranted and incarceration is an appropriate punishment. That’s why we’re asking for six months of incarceration,” said Brian Stover.
Some of Shuman’s co-workers spoke on her behalf, saying she’s not an evil person. Shuman’s attorney, Benjamin Herrmann, argued that jail time would only do more damage.
“If the court sends her to jail, she’s going to lose her home. She’s going to lose her children,” he said.
Before sentencing Shuman, Judge Donna Mowrer addressed Brandon, “You’re a fighter. You’re one of the strongest people I can say that I’ve ever met.” Then Judge Mowrer spoke directly to Shuman, “Your actions, Ms. Shuman, had consequences as you can now see, not just on the Lopez Thompson family, but on your own family as well,” she said.
Shuman was sentenced to the max under the plea deal of six months in jail. Under Shuman’s plea agreement, she’ll also need to take a parenting course and stay off drugs and alcohol. Brandon Thompson’s family is also asking for $12,000 in restitution to help pay for his medical costs.