SUMMERFIELD, N.C. — A firefighter’s widow is fighting for justice.
Todd Martinez and his wife, Melanie, were on a bike ride back in February. They were on Scalesville Road, two miles away from their home. Melanie was in front of Todd when a driver hit him from behind and killed him. The driver didn’t stop.
“I have a lot of thoughts and feelings and sounds and smells that I can’t get rid of,” explains Melanie.
Police ended up finding the driver, 19-year-old Andrew Barham, and charging him with felony hit and run resulting in death. Barham could face anywhere from 10 months to 59 months.
Melanie is worried that a judge will let him off easy.
“They get their driver’s license taken away or get a minimal sentence, that’s not a consequence for taking a life,” says Melanie.
Harless is working with lawmakers to make harsher penalties for those convicted of hit-and-runs.
“There needs to be more accountability for someone that is inconsiderate and immature enough to kill someone and drive away and leave for someone for dead.”
She’s also asking anyone in the community that knew Todd or was somehow touched by him to write a letter. Harless wants to give the letters to the judge in hopes to impact his decision.
Letters can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org