Woman to be sentenced Monday for 2022 hit and run that killed IU student

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — A sentencing hearing is set for Monday for the woman who pleaded guilty in March for the 2022 hit and run that killed IU student Nathaniel Stratton who was riding an e-scooter.

Howard was originally set to stand trial at the end of February for Stratton’s death, but it was cancelled just days before the trial after Howard expressed interest in taking a plea deal.

Madelyn Howard pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, a level 3 felony, and one of the two counts of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a level 4 felony. In exchange, the state agrees to dismiss the remaining charges, which was another count of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a level 4 felony, and reckless homicide, a level 5 felony.

During sentencing hearings, family and friends on both sides of the case will give victim impact statements or statements defending the suspect.

The person who being charged, in this case, Madelyn Howard, will also have a chance to speak before sentencing. It is the judge on the case who will hear and use those statements to make a judgement on what sentence should be handed to the suspect.

Under Indiana sentencing guidelines, level 3 felonies are punishable anywhere between three and 16 years and level 4 felonies between two and 12 years. Judge Darcie Fawcett, who has presided over the case, can elect to suspend whatever sentence Howard receives.

As IUSTV News previously reported, on Sept. 18, 2022, police responded to a report of an accident with injury at the intersection of Walnut and 12th Streets. Police say Howard had been driving with a male passenger in the car when she hit Stratton, who was riding an electric scooter, and then fled the scene.  

Howard was later found at the intersection of Lincoln and 19th, where police say her car showed evidence of damage, along with a heavily damaged scooter nearby, which bystanders helped her to free from dragging underneath her car. 

Stratton was transported to IU Bloomington Health Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead from his injuries. He was a junior in the Kelley School of Business studying entrepreneurship.