Norfolk grand jury will hear case of woman charged with striking husband with car, causing severe injury


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A domestic relations judge Thursday sent the case of Bashirah Tripp, 34, to the grand jury.

She faces one felony count of aggravated malicious wounding for striking her husband, James Johnson, 35, in the parking lot of the Janaf shopping center last August.

Eyewitnesses testified to what many saw in video that circulated widely on social media. After Tripp struck her husband with her car, she picked up the loose bumper and struck him while he lay motionless on the ground.

A Norfolk police detective said in court that Tripp asked “Did I kill my child’s father?” during her arrest, and asked “Is he okay?”

The detective was among four prosecution witnesses. He also testified that Tripp told him during questioning, “I floored it and struck him.”

A dental employee and a man waiting for his daughter said they saw Tripp accelerate her Honda sedan in the direction of Johnson, strike him and then crash the car into other vehicles, tearing off its bumper.

The witnesses both said Tripp then lifted the loose bumper and slammed it down onto her husband, who was already motionless after being struck by the car.

The detective also said the Tripp told him she and her husband had been in a violent argument earlier that week over one of their two children — and that her husband had punched her in the face. The detective said he observed that Tripp had a black eye and broken tooth, consistent with her story.

Tripp also told police about an incident last April when she said Johnson was violent — and how she wanted to break a wine bottle over his head and then use the broken glass to stab him.

Johnson’s sister says he remains hospitalized in a vegetative state eight months later with a skull fracture and numerous other injuries.

“I’m heartbroken, I’m angry, I’m upset, I’m scared,” said Latoya Johnson while outside the courthouse Thursday.

Judge Randolph Carlson decided there was enough evidence to support probable cause for the charge of aggravated malicious wounding, and sent Tripp’s case to the grand jury.

If the grand jury indicts her, the case moves to circuit court where she will be tried.

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