Janet Elaine Hinds was sentenced to 11 years in the state prison today in Hamilton County Criminal Court. Judge Don Poole made that announcement after reviewing the presentence report and hearing arguments from District Attorney General Neal Pinkston with co-counsel Executive Assistant DA Cameron Williams, and Ben McGowan, Hind’s defense attorney.
Immediately after the hearing, General Pinkston was asked for his reaction to the sentence. “We’re very satisfied with it based upon the case facts and the law that the judge has to go by,” said General Pinkston. “We argued for the maximum. We got one year less, so we’re satisfied with that.”
A jury found Hinds guilty September 25, 2021 of vehicular homicide by intoxication. The verdict followed a four-day trial in which General Pinkston and Executive Assistant DA Williams presented evidence that showed Ms. Hinds was intoxicated when the vehicle she was driving struck and killed 38-year-old Chattanooga Police Officer Nicholas Galinger on Hamill Road on February 23, 2019.
General Pinkston told the jury that earlier the same evening, Ms. Hinds had consumed 76 ounces of beer and one shot of vodka at the Farm to Fork restaurant in Ringgold, Georgia. General Pinkston said that Officer Galinger, a rookie accompanied by his field training officer, was inspecting an overflowing manhole cover when Ms. Hinds’ vehicle struck him and threw his body more than 160 feet down the road. Ms. Hinds fled the scene, but as the police investigation led to a warrant being issued for her arrest, she turned herself in the following Monday morning. In his opening statement on the first day of the trial, General Williams told the jury that “All she had to do was ask for a ride home.”
The jury, which was brought in from the Nashville area and sequestered, deliberated about 15 hours before finding Ms. Hinds guilty of the following charges: Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Injury for Death, Failure to Report an Accident, Speeding, Failure to Exercise Due Care, Failure to Maintain Lane and Driving Under the Influence.