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Suspect in hit-and-run death of Tenn. officer in custody

The Chattanooga officer was struck Saturday night while on a call with his field training officer

officer Nicholas Galinger-1.jpg

Officer Nicholas Galinger

Photo/ Chattanooga Police Department

Duty Death: Officer Nicholas Galinger - [Chattanooga]

End of Service: 23/02/2019

Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The suspect in the hit-and-run death of a Tennessee officer was taken into custody Monday morning, police said.

Janet Elaine Hinds, 54, turned herself in hours after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation put her on its Top Ten Most Wanted list, the Chattanooga Police Department announced on Twitter.

The agency said Hinds was wanted for vehicular homicide in the death of Nicholas Galinger. The 38-year-old officer was hit Saturday night while he was inspecting a manhole cover that had water flowing from it due to heavy rain.

News outlets report a police affidavit said Hinds was speeding, crossed a double-yellow line and hit a sign warning of an exposed manhole cover before hitting Galinger. She then drove away from the scene, police said.

Court records show she faces several other charges including reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and violation of a traffic control device.

In a court appearance Monday, prosecutors argued for a high bond but Hinds’ attorney, Ben McGowan, said that she has strong ties to the community, raised her family there and is the Soddy-Daisy postmaster. The judge set bond at $300,000.

Galinger graduated from the police academy last month and was struck while on a call with his field training officer.

Police recovered a Honda CR-V from Hinds’ residence on Sunday. The vehicle had front-end damage.

Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy said the community “lost not just an officer. We lost a son, a father, a friend, and a protector.”