Precious Richardson Coleman, 29, is facing a particularly strong prosecution case in a remarkably disturbing criminal case. Coleman is accused of purposely running over Beatrice “Dee Dee” Spence, 24, and her uncle Damon Watson, 37. She allegedly targeted Spence with her 2004 white Dodge Durango in a jealous rage — resulting in the amputation of Spence’s leg. A video before shows her speeding up in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia, jumping the curb, and then backing up on the street before fleeing. She is charged with two counts of attempted murder and related offenses. The attack also left Spence without a home after her mother ran out to help her with fried chicken cooking on the stove. [Warning: the story below has foul language]
Coleman mistakenly believed that Spence was dating her boyfriend.
The two women had a long-standing feud. Witnesses say that at 5 a.m. Friday, Coleman drove to Spence’s house and knocked on the door. She reportedly yelled “It’s Precious. Tell your daughter to stop fucking blocking me on Instagram!” She then allegedly threw a brick through the window. Spence’s mother then filed a police report. A few hours later, Coleman called Dee Dee Spence and said that she was coming over. At about 2 pm, Spence reportedly waited for Coleman on the sidewalk with Watson, her uncle. Coleman appeared at the end of the block and then allegedly ran both of them over. Spence was pinned against the porch and her leg was almost completely torn off.
Spence’s mom, Danika Spence, heard the hit-and-run and ran out of the kitchen to help her daughter with turning off the stove where she was cooking fried chicken. As she tried to keep her daughter alive on the street, the oil burst into flames and gutted their home. Spence lived in the house with her mother, two sisters (Alissa and America), and a niece.
In torts, we often have to deal with the question of liability for injuries sustained escaping a negligent or intentional act. For example, jumping out of a careening taxi can expose the tortfeasor to liability for the resulting injuries if they were responsible for the underlying danger. In this case, few would criticize a mother who ran immediately to the side of her daughter to try to save her life in such a horrific attack. While Coleman sounds “judgment proof” financially, an argument could be made that the crime (and tort) was the proximate cause of the fire even though normally leaving chicken frying on the stove would be negligence.
What is clear is that Precious’ time on social media is close to over. She left parts of the car on the street and a video showing the attack. There are a host of witnesses as well as path of destruction in her wake. Most prosecutors would offer little in terms of a plea bargain with such an evidentiary foundation.