FORT WORTH, Texas – A nurse's aide hit a homeless man with her car, drove home with him stuck headfirst in her broken windshield and ignored his cries for help as he bled to death in her garage over the next two or three days, police say.
Chante Mallard allegedly told police she periodically went into the garage, apologizing to him but doing nothing to help.
Mallard, 25, was arrested on murder charges Wednesday and was later released on bond. She faces from five years to life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
"I'm going to have to come up with a new word. Indifferent isn't enough. Cruel isn't enough to say," Tarrant County prosecutor Richard Alpert told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Heartless? Inhumane? Maybe we've just redefined inhumanity here."
Police said 37-year-old Gregory Biggs probably would have lived had he received immediate help. When the man finally died, Mallard and her friends put the stranger's body in the trunk of another car and dumped it in a park, authorities said.
Mallard allegedly told police she had been drinking and using the drug Ecstasy the night Biggs was hit. The impact hurled him headfirst through the windshield, leaving his broken legs protruding onto the hood.
With the man still lodged in the windshield, the woman panicked and drove a few miles to her Fort Worth home, parked her car in the garage and lowered the door as Biggs pleaded for help, according to police.
When Biggs' body was found Oct. 27, evidence pointed to a hit-and-run, investigators said.
Lt. David Burgess said police were contacted a few weeks ago by someone who said she heard Mallard at a party talking about the incident.
Mallard allegedly told a friend details when asked why she was no longer driving her car.
A search of Mallard's house turned up the damaged car with blood, hair and other evidence, authorities said. The car's seats were found in the back yard, and one had been burned.
Mallard's attorney, Mike Heiskell, said: "I think this is overreaching on the part of the prosecution and the police and, in the end, I believe the law will shake out that this was simply a case of failure to stop and render aid."
The medical examiner's office said Biggs suffered no internal injuries and apparently died from loss of blood and shock.
Mallard told investigators she went into the garage a few times and apologized to the victim, but never called for help as he pleaded with her. She wouldn't say why she wouldn't get help, Burgess said.
Charges may be filed against some of Mallard's friends who helped her take Biggs' body to the park, Burgess said. Police do not yet know if anyone besides Mallard knew about the man while he was still alive.
Medical examiner's records listed Biggs' address as a homeless shelter in Fort Worth. His mother, Meredith Biggs, said she had recently begun looking for him.
"How could she just leave him like that to die?" she told the Star-Telegram. "Drugs and alcohol wear off, so why didn't she get him some help? I should have prayed more."