- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 28, 2003

FORT WORTH, Texas — Former nurse’s aide Chante Jawan Mallard was sentenced to 60 years in the Texas penitentiary yesterday in the much-publicized “windshield murder case.”

The jury deliberated about 2hours after hearing impassioned closing arguments yesterday. Jurors sentenced Mallard to 50 years for murder and 10 years for tampering with evidence by burning a bloody car seat. She pleaded guilty to the tampering charge before her trial began Monday.

She will have to serve at least 25 years in prison before she is eligible for parole. Mallard and her family cried after the sentence was read.

“There’s no winners in a case like this. Just as we all lost Greg, you all will be losing your daughter,” the victim’s son, Brandon Biggs, told Mallard’s family in a statement he read in court after the sentence was announced.

Mallard, 27, was found guilty of murder Thursday in the Oct. 26, 2001, automobile-pedestrian death of a 37-year-old mentally impaired homeless man, Gregory Biggs — a man she struck on a local highway at 3 a.m., before driving her car home as he moaned and dangled half in and half out of her windshield.

She drove the smashed-up 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier into her garage, locked the door and began calling friends for help. Her closest friend advised her to call the police.

Mallard and two male friends later removed the dead man’s body and tossed it in a public park.

Four months later, police were tipped about how Mr. Biggs died after Mallard joked about what she had done at a party.

Several witnesses — including two well-known county medical examiners — said Mr. Biggs had probably lived for a short time, then bled to death. Several others testified that the man could have — should have — lived, despite the fact his left leg was nearly severed.

Yesterday, Gary Wimbish, president of a toxicology consultant firm here, testified for the defense that a combination of Ecstasy and marijuana might have made Mallard unable to react normally after the crash.

Mallard and others testified she had taken Ecstasy, had smoked marijuana and drank alcohol at a local bar. She testified she was confused and couldn’t think straight about what to do — and never considered calling 911 for help for her victim.

Mr. Wimbish told jurors that studies of Ecstasy by the U.S. military — looking into the possible effects of the stimulant/hallucinogen should a terrorist or enemy dump it in food or water supply points — showed that euphoria lasts four to six hours. But, he added, it could disrupt a person’s thought processes for several days.

Mallard’s attorney, Jeff Kearney, said he was disappointed with the length of the sentence. He said an appeal is planned.

In closing punishment-phase arguments yesterday, the prosecution exhorted the jury to give the defendant the maximum sentence, life in prison.

“Why did Greg Biggs have to die, alone, in the dark, in the cruelest place?” asked Assistant District Attorney Christy Jack.

“It would be easy to say — it would be easy to swallow Dr. Wimbish’s testimony and simply say, ‘This is some Ecstasy-induced fluke. This is a one-time thing, never to repeat itself’ instead of some horrific crime warranting a life sentence.”

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