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Aug 3 2017

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Plea deal reached in Martinsville doctor’s hit and run case

MARTINSVILLE –The prosecution reached a plea agreement in the hit and run case against the former chief medical officer at Memorial Hospital on Wednesday.

As part of the deal, the prosecution agreed to drop the charge of felony hit and run and amended a charge of misdemeanor hit and run to misdemeanor damage to property. In turn, Martinsville doctor Tooba Ali Kazmi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor damage to property and misdemeanor reckless driving in Martinsville Circuit Court.

In accordance with the plea agreement, Judge G. Carter Greer sentenced Dr. Kazmi on each of the two misdemeanor charges to 12 months in jail, all suspended on condition of payment of a $500 fine, supervised probation for a year, followed by three years of good behavior.

The fines for the two cases together total $1,000, but the period of probation for the two cases will run concurrently and the period of good behavior for the two cases will run concurrently, which means Dr. Kazmi will be on active probation for a total of one year, followed by a requirement of good behavior for a total of three years.

On July 2, 2016, Officer Mark Peters of the Martinsville Police Department responded to a call regarding a hit and run at 9 Cleveland Avenue. The front of a man’s white Mercury Mountaineer was smashed and the rear of a building at 9 Cleveland Ave. was badly damaged. The woman who owned the building had her business, a tanning salon, on the first floor, while the second and third floors were her home.

That woman had been woken up by a loud noise. She looked out of her window and saw a blue Honda, driven by Kazmi, collide with the Mountaineer several times. As Kazmi backed up in order to ram the Mountaineer, the back of her Honda smashed into the building at 9 Cleveland Ave.

After doing this several times and causing damage to the building, her vehicle and the Mountaineer, Kazmi allegedly left the scene without leaving any information.

“She did, however, leaver her front bumper,” according to Martinsville Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Andy Hall. “The bumper had her front license plate on it. Officer Peters ran her plate number and obtained her address.” Hall said that Kazmi admitted to striking the Mountaineer and the building at 9 Cleveland Avenue “and leaving without providing any information or alerting the owners of any law enforcement agency of the damaged property.”

The cost to repair the front end of the Mountaineer was less than $1,000, and the damage to the building was considerably more than that, Hall said.

Hall added that Kazmi made restitution “very, very quickly,” that she “has no criminal history whatsoever.”

When Judge Greer asked Kazmi’s lawyers – Ward Armstrong and Roscoe Reynolds – if they had any additions or corrections to the summary of the prosecution’s evidence, Armstrong responded, “Dr. Kazmi regrets the incident.” No reason was given as to why the situation happened.

In an email to the Bulletin, Elizabeth Harris, director of marketing for Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, said that “Dr. Kazmi resigned her role as chief medical officer at Memorial Hospital this summer. She has had no position or affiliation with the hospital since that time.”

MARTINSVILLE CIRCUIT COURT

Also in Martinsville Circuit Court on Wednesday, Quentin Gene Cochran Jr. of Martinsville, pleaded no contest to possession of hydrocodone/acetaminophen (a schedule 2 controlled substance). Judge Greer ordered a presentence report and set sentencing for March 16.

According to the commonwealth’s evidence, on Dec. 6, 2015, Officer Mike Harris of the Martinsville Police Department was on patrol when he observed Cochran urinating on the side of Maple Street. Harris stopped his patrol car and approached Cochran. As he did so, Cochran turned and started to walk away. Harris observed Cochran pull a plastic baggy from his pants pocket and throw it to the ground.

Harris approached Cochran, who ultimately admitted to throwing the baggie to the ground. The bag contained a green leafy material and two yellow tablets. The green leafy material was field tested and determined to be marijuana. Testing by the state Department of Forensic Science Lab in Roanoke determined the tablets were a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen.


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