Portsmouth woman pleads guilty to aggravated malicious wounding after striking husband with car

Southeast Region

*The video above originally aired in March 2021.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth woman has pleaded guilty to aggravated malicious wounding after she seriously injured her husband in an August 2020 domestic-related assault at the Janaf Shopping Center.

Police say Bashirah S. Tripp, 34, was taken into custody at the scene after hitting James Johnson, 35, with her vehicle. He was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries but passed away.

Court records show Tripp pleaded guilty on September 8, 2021.

Several videos circulating widely on social media show a man lying motionless on the ground at the rear end of a car. The car appeared to have also crashed into another vehicle at a shopping center.

In the video, you can see a woman walking around the scene near the man and the vehicle. At times, she approaches him while he’s on the ground and yells at him.

Witnesses who spoke with 10 On Your Side at the time of the incident said they were in disbelief at what they saw.

“It was a horrible, horrible thing to see. I’ve never seen anything like that,” said one woman, who did not want to be identified.

The woman was inside the shopping center and says she heard an engine rev, which is a typical sound heard at the center.

“I heard the vroom of the engine, then the crunches,” she said.

Over seven months after the incident, a domestic relations judge in Norfolk sent the case to a grand jury on March 11, 2021.

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.

During the hearing in March, Johnson’s sister said he remained hospitalized in a vegetative state eight months later with a skull fracture and numerous other injuries.

Tripp is set to be sentenced on January 7, 2022.

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