Hit-and-run driver silent at sentencing

Howard George Lininger, 84, makes his first court appearance on Wednesday, December 10.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A man who pleaded guilty to a fatal hit-and-run that happened in November of 2014 won’t spend time behind bars. On Monday, a judge sentenced Howard Lininger to six years of probation, which is part of his plea deal. Lininger will not be allowed to operate a vehicle during this time, but after his probation he will have the chance to get his license back.

Lininger pleaded guilty to failure to stop after an accident resulting in injury or death. Haley Nancarrow, 25, was pronounced dead after she was found near the intersection of Maplecrest and Georgetown North Boulevard the night of November 18.

Nancarrow’s mother, Jennifer Dawkins, spoke at Lininger’s sentencing and said, “I think the best sentence is for this man to never get behind the wheel again.”

A judge asked if Lininger wanted to make any comment at the sentencing but Lininger just replied, “No, sir.”

“The least he could have done was apologize to me, but I guess I’ll never get that,” Dawkins told to NewsChannel 15 after the sentencing.

An unopened whiskey bottle found in Lininger’s vehicle was the key piece of evidence in the investigation, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained at the Allen County Courthouse back in December. Police found Nancarrow’s palm prints on the whiskey bottle.

Deputy Prosecutor Adam Mildred credited the success of this case to two passers-by who saw Lininger get out of his vehicle and pick up the whiskey bottle. “Without their type of assistance, cases like this often times don’t get solved,” Mildred said.

Dawkins filed a request to hire an attorney in December to “assist her in collecting damages for the wrongful death claim” for Nancarrow. It’s not clear if any other steps have been taken in a potential civil case. 

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