A tearful Keisha Henry apologized to a Richmond County Superior Court judge Friday, saying she hadn’t intended to harm her 15-year-old son when she hit him with her Chevrolet Yukon last year at Butler High School, breaking his ankle.
“I did hit him with a car, but I love my son,” said Henry, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in exchange for the state’s dropping a charge of first-degree cruelty to children.
Judge Sheryl Jolly placed the woman on probation for five years. Henry, 41, had faced a maximum of 20 years in prison.
“I know that sometimes teenagers are pretty good at provoking parents … but this is way beyond what should have happened in this type of incident,” the judge said.
Assistant District Attorney Grant Usry said Henry was called to the school on Jan. 26 after her son walked out of class after an argument with his gym teacher. Henry met her son in the parking lot and told him to apologize to the coach. He refused twice and walked toward a friend’s car.
When his older brother pulled up in his car, the 15-year-old agreed to give him his house and car keys. When he refused to hand over his cellphone, Henry got into her SUV and drove over the curb. The impact fractured his ankle so severely that he required surgery to set the bones, Usry said.
Henry got out and told her son, lying on the pavement, that she was tired of his disrespect. She drove away, but was later arrested after her son was taken to the emergency room by a friend.
The teen said in court Friday that he knew the injury was an accident and that he and his mother had come to terms.
The judge said the family could be reunited with approval from the Department of Family and Children Services, but she left Henry with a warning.
“As a mother, you know he could have gotten hurt very badly,” Jolly said, “and that’s something you have to live with and feel guilty about.”