Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Rutherford County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Ron Killings for reckless homicide and two other charges in the death of 11-year-old Lakeisha White.more>>
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The family of Lakeisha White said the indictment against Rutherford County Sheriff's detective Ron Killings was a long time coming. Killings has been charged with reckless homicide in the 11-year-old's death.
A grand jury indicted Killings, and Wednesday morning the 12-year-veteran of the sheriff's office resigned.
Flowers and a stuffed animal still rest at the very spot where Lakeisha White died.
"I'm overwhelmed because of the fact that I feel like her death has been vindicated. Before it was making me feel like they were treating her like she was an object instead of a child being killed," godmother Rose Collier told reporter Nick Beres.
Police said Killings hit and killed Lakeisha this past July on Bradyville Pike in Murfreesboro. Witnesses accused Killings of speeding and disposing of two bottles of pre-mixed margaritas after the incident.
"He should have been fired from the beginning," Collier said.
The liquor bottles were eventually turned over to police. Blood tests taken two-and-a-half hours after the crash came back negative for alcohol and drugs.
The grand jury indicted Killings for reckless homicide, giving false information to a police officer and tampering, destroying and fabricating evidence.
Lakeisha's relatives said they were gratified by the grand jury's action.
"I feel good now that justice is being served," said Lakeisha's grandmother Brenda Carneal.
Killings remained on the job, but resigned moments after he was served with the sealed indictment.
Reaction at the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office was one of disappointment and surprise. Sheriff Truman Jones said Killings was a good man and a man of integrity.
Killings will get a chance to defend himself when the case goes to court. Lakeisha's family said they were just glad that a trial was going to happen.
"I'm going to Kentucky. I'm going up to the graveyard and let her know justice has been done and she can rest," said Carneal.
Killings declined to comment, but those close to him said that he was devastated by the indictment. So were many at the sheriff's office who emphasized Killings was a good officer involved in a horrible accident.
Killings was charged with class C and D felonies. If convicted, he could face between three to six years for each offense.
Two Murfreesboro police investigators were reprimanded for bungling the case early on.