A woman has been tried and convicted for purposefully running over her boyfriend with a car and then speeding off, leaving him dead at the scene of the hit-and-run.
Jurors returned guilty verdicts on Sept. 25 against New York resident Vanessa Dates-Bell, 36, on charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, hit and run resulting in serious injury or death, and tampering with evidence stemming from an incident that occurred on Oct. 21, 2020.
According to investigators, on that day in 2020, Dates-Bell had been arguing with her boyfriend, 25-year-old Tavorris Threadcraft.
As Threadcraft was walking near Fairington Road and Willowick Drive in Stonecrest at approximately 1 a.m., an UberEats driver (whom investigators did not identify to the public) accidentally struck him, which left him lying in the road. The driver then stopped and dialed 911, stated officials.
While on the phone with the dispatcher, the driver checked Threadcraft for a pulse and reported he was still alive. Other cars also stopped at the scene to assist, stated investigators.
Officials said that as bystanders tried to help Threadcraft, a blue car maneuvered around the parked vehicles and ran over Threadcraft. The UberEats driver could be heard screaming on the 911 recording for that car to stop and after running over Threadcraft, the blue car sped off, said investigators.
When first responders arrived, they pronounced Threadcraft dead at the scene.
As the DeKalb County Police Department searched for the blue car, an anonymous tipster called in to tell them where to find it, stated officials. Police said they located the vehicle in North Carolina and later learned that the blue car belonged to Dates-Bell’s mother. They also stated that DNA testing revealed that blood underneath the vehicle belonged to Threadcraft.
Officials also stated that their investigation uncovered a video of an argument between Dates-Bell and Threadcraft in which she threatened to run him over shortly before the incident.
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson, who presided over the trial, sentenced Dates-Bell to 20 years to serve with five years to follow on probation.
The case, assigned to the domestic violence/sexual assault unit, was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Drew Healy with assistance from Senior ADA Furhawn Shah, DA Investigator Shawna Barber, and Victim Advocate Shelbie Rainwater.
For more information, visit dekalbda.org.