Trial Underway for Brownsville Fatal 2-Year-Old Hit-and-Run Case
BROWNSVILLE – The trial for a woman accused of leaving the scene of a fatal hit-and-run in Brownsville two years ago is underway.
Marisa Govea Hernandez is charged with injury involving death for allegedly hitting Mary Elizabeth Tipton back in 2015.
The victim was walking on the edge of the road near the intersection of FM 511 and FM 803 that fatal February evening. Her body was discovered in a ditch several days after she was hit.
According to court testimony by Hernandez’s son, a Cameron County Sheriff’s deputy, his mother closed her eyes when she hit Tipton, not realizing then what she had hit and continued to drive home.
The deputy told jurors that he thought his mother had hit an animal because people don’t walk around FM 803 where they live. He went out to inspect the area but found nothing.
State prosecutors also played a recording where it was the sheriff deputy who called dispatch to report his mother had been in a minor car accident, in which she had probably hit an animal.
The victim’s family maintains the defendant’s actions point to a cover-up.
“I feel desperate, like my life has been on pause for the past two years. It’s been like a really long day. I want there to be justice that things turn out the way they should, no more or no less. I want the truth to come out,” Ralph Tipton, the victim’s husband, said.
State prosecutors tried to argue that the sheriff deputy left out important details for the investigation. He responded that although it was his profession to get clear details on incidents, the hit-and-run wasn’t his investigation.
Tipton said he’s glad the trial is underway after two years.
Visiting Judge Juan Banales is presiding over the case.
State District Judge Gloria Rincones had to recuse herself because she already knew of the case since it’s been highly publicized in Brownsville.
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