Woman gets at least 18-month sentence in driving van into boyfriend, killing him

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Demona Anderson sobbed as she tried to explain to the judge about to sentence her that she didn’t mean to kill her boyfriend.

“I was there for him for everything when he needed me,” she said. “I would never do anything to harm him.

“I did not intentionally try to kill him. I did not.”

But Common Pleas Judge Donald E. Machen, who presided over Anderson’s bench trial in May, disagreed.

“Your characterizing it as an accident is not correct,” the judge said. “Listen to what I’m saying, and do not ask any questions. This court found it was not an accident.

“It was an intentional act.”

On Tuesday, Judge Machen sentenced Anderson, 41, of East Pittsburgh to serve at least 18 months in state prison for involuntary manslaughter.

According to the prosecution, she and her boyfriend, Dwan Jones, had a domestic dispute late on Feb. 7, 2013. She called 911 to report the incident with Jones and was awaiting officers’ arrival at Frankstown and Paulson avenues when she said it looked like Jones was going to board a Port Authority bus and leave the area.

Anderson told officers she didn’t want him to leave so she attempted to block his path with her vehicle when she “accidentally” hit him.

A video captured by the bus first shows Anderson’s vehicle bumping Jones. But then the van strikes him again, bouncing his body off the hood before he falls violently to the street.

Jones died about two months later from head injuries sustained in the incident.

Judge Machen ordered Anderson to serve 18 months in prison up to the statutory maximum of five years.

He gave her permission to report in 30 days to take care of her affairs. She has seven children.

Defense attorney Richard Narvin asked Judge Machen to give his client probation.

“Her remorse on this matter is genuine,” he said.

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620. First Published August 5, 2014 12:00 AM

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