NORFOLK, Virginia — After hitting her husband with a vehicle in 2020, a Portsmouth woman was sentenced to 18 years in jail on Friday. His injuries put him in a coma, and he died more than a year later.
Bashirah Tripp, 35, pled guilty to aggravated malicious wounding of James Johnson Jr. in September 2021.
Tripp was with Johnson, then 34 years old and with whom she shares two children, at the JANAF Shopping Center in Norfolk on August 6, 2020, according to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
The trip left Johnson at JANAF after the two had a disagreement, drove away but returning minutes later. Johnson went off the sidewalk onto the road while on the phone, not seeing Tripp. That’s when Tripp accelerated and collided with Johnson.
He was thrown into the air, and his head smacked the ground as a result of the impact. He had a significant brain injury after breaking his skull.
Tripp collided with two other vehicles, came to a halt, and exited her vehicle. While Johnson lay unconscious on the ground, Tripp took the shattered bumper from her car and beat him with it while she screamed and yelled.
Tripp was arrested by the Norfolk Police Department after she admitted to punching her spouse in a rage.
Johnson spent the rest of his life in a coma, undergoing multiple operations, and relying on a feeding tube, according to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. In October 2021, he died as a result of his injuries.
Tripp was sentenced to 18 years in jail by Norfolk Circuit Court Judge Jerrauld C. Jones, with another 12 years suspended on the condition of continued good behaviour and the completion of five years of supervised probation.
In a news release, Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi claimed, “Bashirah Tripp killed James Johnson on August 6, 2020, even if it took him another 15 months to die.” “Mr. Johnson should be alive today, but he is no longer living because of Ms. Tripp’s heinous and senseless crime. I hope Mr. Johnson’s loved ones find comfort in today’s sentence. Whether the weapon is a pistol, a knife, or an automobile, we will do everything we can to hold those who kill our fellow citizens accountable.”
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