Bottoms' family speaks out

Thursday, February 17, 2011
This memorial was erected at the site where Billy Bottoms was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Jan. 22. The memorial is decorated with traditional items like flowers and candles as welll as a few other items such as a can of Monster energy drink, a newspaper clipping and studs.

CUNOT -- The father of a Cunot boy who died in a hit and run accident said that he hopes more witnesses are able to come forward in the death of his son.

Terry Bottoms, the father of Billy Bottoms, 12, who died after a hit and run accident Jan. 22 as he was walking home from an event at the Cunot Community Center, said he is still hoping to learn more about what happened the night his son was struck.

"What we need now is for people that were here that night that saw what went on or know something now that they forgot to mention to continue to call in anything they know," Bottoms said.

Bottoms said he hopes people who came forward before are able to provide more details about what happened on the night of his son's accident.

"There was a guy coming towards the car that hit Billy, going the opposite direction, Bottoms said. "I know he stopped and said that he said he had to swerve to avoid hitting the car that hit Billy. I need for someone like him to come forward again and really go into detail about what he saw, because he was right there when it happened."

Bottoms said while he was very pleased with the work police had put into the investigation of his son's death, some aspects upset him.

"We're really upset that (the suspects arrested in connection with the accident) never got to spend any time in jail," Terry Bottoms said. "They basically walked in and got fingerprinted, went to court, (paid their bond) and went home.

"That's pretty upsetting," he continued. "I know people who get stopped driving without a license and they go to jail. These people didn't go to jail. It Kind of upset me, really. Supposedly they were arrested. Well, if you arrest somebody, lock them up."

Donald VanDerMoere, Owen County prosecutor, said the three people charged in Billy Bottoms' death -- Tabitha Jo Blake Lucas, Tracy Lucas and Mark Blake -- were allowed to turn themselves in because Tabitha Blake Lucas and Tracy Lucas,who are married, have small children.

VanDerMoere said the bond process isn't meant to be a punishment. Once a bond is posted, a person is free to go.

"All three of these folks are presumed innocent," Van DerMoere said. "We think we have probable cause to believe they have committed a crime but until a jury decides that or they plead guilty or some other resolution comes, we're still facing trial."

Tabitha Lucas is charged with Class C felony failure to return to the scene of an accident resulting in death, while Tracy Lucas and Blake were both charged with Class D felony obstruction of justice.

Bottoms reiterated that he's happy with what investigations have accomplished so far, but said he was confused that more people haven't been charged in some manner.

"When I read (the investigator's supplemental report), it just seems like there would have been more charges. I don't know if there will be or not," he said.

The investigator's supplemental report states that during interviews all three people charged in the fatal accident mentioned another party helped them replace the windshield in the black Malibu involved in the accident.

VanDerMoere said the investigation was still ongoing.

"We've got a detective and an investigator that are looking to further this investigation if at all possible," he said. "That doesn't mean that anybody else could even potentially be charged. At this point that investigation is still continuing."

Bottoms wanted to express his appreciation for everyone involved in the investigation.

"I want to thank everyone who called in leads and the hard work that law enforcement has put in on this," he said.

View 16 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • My heart and prayers go out to the Bottom's family! Terrible tragedy!!

    -- Posted by bottomline on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 10:57 AM
  • Who cares if they have small children..they killed someones elses child and was trying to hide much do you need to find them guilty! This is so do they sleep at night? I hope they see that little boy every night they close their eyes....

    We need to forgive but they also need to remember what they have done!

    -- Posted by cato on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 12:00 PM
  • It is hard for me to wrap my mind around this. How would a mother herself be able to do this to a child? She turned maybe a pure innocent accident into a class C Felony....what was she thinking?

    -- Posted by JrsWife on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 1:44 PM
  • Maybe the great State of Indiana will lower the speed limit around the Community Center. It has been needed for a long time.

    -- Posted by sad_but_true on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 1:55 PM
  • owen county dont have detectives thats the problem they half *** do their jobs those people should be in jail for vehicular manslaughter and covering up the crime and so what if they have small children what makes them special everyone else that goes to jail cps gets involved thats part of it they need to quit giving these people special priviledges they should be in jail with no bond at all all they want is that money and that so called prosecutor needs to do his job too lets go back to 2006 when they covered up another hit and run when 4 people died and there was someone in jail for suspicion of murder you can go to the courthouse now and there is no record of the charges even being dropped but he is out on the streets as usual ready for another crime

    -- Posted by sdamons on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 2:12 PM
  • What kind of Parent does what they did, there children are better off without parents like this, strangers would bring them up better....Hopefully they are put in jail soon, anyone that can give more information on this do so, HELP get these people off of our streets before they do this again !

    -- Posted by takeastand on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 3:55 PM

    -- Posted by takeastand on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 3:56 PM
  • Now that she is out I bet she is driving too! Lets hope that she doesn't hit another innocent person...

    -- Posted by lovingson on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 3:59 PM
  • Why was Mark Blake not mentioned in this article?? Just a question....he was also arrested and released on bond.

    -- Posted by OMG_Really on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 4:54 PM
  • My thoughts go out to the Bottoms Family.......So, sorry for your loss.

    -- Posted by lp_27 on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 5:53 PM
  • Even though Tabitha was wrong for driving off after hitting the child, saying that her kids would be better off with strangers is a horrible thing to say. She made a mistake but that comment goes to show how cruel and small-minded our society (and small towns) really are.

    -- Posted by worldtraveler on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 11:01 PM
  • Why don't u people look at your own lifes and actually stop an think about all the stuff u did wrong it was an accident ... but she did do wrong by taking off an leaving a scene... an u don't know her she is a very good mother u have no right to say anything about her kids ... she will pay the price for it... .. but think about both families In. This tradgedy .... I am not saying that she did no wrong because she did .... grow up people I am sure ur lifes aren't perfect ....

    -- Posted by peoplemakemistakes on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 4:14 AM
  • if she was paying the price her and her accomplices would be locked up and thats that the problem with todays socitey isnt that people dwell on the lives of criminals its the fact that people like the last 2 can say that its ok its not ok a family lost there 12 year old son becuase of someones wrecklessness and compleate and udder faliure to obey the law buzzed driving is driveing under the influence and thats that so for those who say that others need to stop talking bad about her your so wrong she tried to cover it up thats what the news said and usually they dont get there storys wrong she should be in jail her kids should be taken from her did u no that shes got a 14 year old stepson BILLY was 12 and once again lost his life because of someones complete and udder lack of respect for the law

    so i just say that if u cant c that she is wrong maybe your just stupid and by the way it was an accident that could have been avoided if she wasnt drinking and driving wreckless

    -- Posted by countryboy72 on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 8:28 AM
  • OK so let's be honest here. The general public does not truly know if she was impaired in any way, shape, or form. BUT the fact that they left the scene of the accident and attempted to fix the car so no damage could be seen is BIG TIME suspect!! Was she scared? Without a doubt, terrified beyond belief! Did she make a mistake? Yes! Should she be punished for that mistake? Yes! If she is found to somehow been impaired during said mistake/s should she be punished? Yes! WE as humans make mistakes ALL the time. No matter how big or small we have to deal and live with those mistakes for the rest of our lives.

    Just hope people learn from their mistakes and others learn from their mistakes so they are not made again!

    VERY SAD SITUTAION! A child lost is a tragedy!!

    -- Posted by bottomline on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 12:09 PM
  • I think too many parents want to be their child's friend and not their parent....How many parents would try to cover up their child's crime. I believe it was an accident (in the beginning) but once she went home and her family covered it was an awful crime. I would be the first one to turn in my child...not because i don't love them but because they were wrong...What are we teaching our children when there's a cover up and no consequences. The only one with any sense in the family was the brother...who did the RIGHT thing. Hopefully the system will do the right thing also. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bottoms family.

    -- Posted by rapsgirl89 on Sat, Feb 19, 2011, at 9:17 AM
  • My thoughts and a prayer for the Bottoms family. Unfortunately,when there's a history of alcohol abuse and family dysfunction due to alcohol abuse, someone ends up paying a price for that. And in this case, it was an innocent 12 year old. When you live with an alcoholic,you learn to keep the "secret". You are use to covering up. The secrets finally out.

    -- Posted by Peej09 on Sat, Apr 9, 2011, at 5:04 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: