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Tallahassee Man Given Five Years for Hit and Run

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

A Tallahassee man found guilty of running over and killing a FAMU student on graduation night will spend the next few years behind bars.

Thirty-six-year-old Willie Smart was given a maximum five-year sentence for leaving the scene of a crash involving injury. Last year, Allen Rasberry was leaving a local night club following a graduation party when he was struck along Saint Augustine Road.

Before the sentence, Smart offered words of apology to Rasberry's family.

"I hope you understand that I wish that I could bring Allen back, but unfortunately I can't," explained Smart.

"What is important is that we edify the Lord and we continue to fast and pray for this family and for the Smart family as well," said Cameron Beam, Rasberry's father.

During the sentencing, Rasberry's mother, Cata Truss, shared with the court that in the beginning her heart was very hard toward Smart and didn't know how his mother could speak in his defense, but in the end she says she was able to forgive Smart and move on with her life.

"You certainly find the strength to go on. I need the Smart family to know that I did forgive Mr. Smart. I do understand that it was an accident," says Truss.

Those who knew Rasberry say he was very active in the church and that he was about to move to Atlanta to pursue a career in the computer technology.

The judge ordered Smart's driving privileges be permanently revoked.


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