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Posted on Thu, Mar. 07, 2002, by Deanna Boyd, Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Bizarre details of man's death revealed
Hit-and-run victim lived for two days while trapped in windshield
FORT WORTH - When Gregory Glenn Biggs' body was found in October in Cobb Park, evidence pointed to a hit-and-run.
But in the past two weeks, police have learned that Biggs lived for two or three days after he was hit, lying on a car hood in a southeast Fort Worth garage, his body trapped in the windshield.
Despite Biggs' pleas, police said, the driver refused to help and left him to die. Afterward, the body was dumped in the park.
"I'm going to have to come up with a new word. Indifferent isn't enough. Cruel isn't enough to say. Heartless? Inhumane? Maybe we've just redefined inhumanity here," said Richard Alpert, a Tarrant County assistant district attorney.
What happened to the 37-year-old Biggs, police said, was not a simple case of a driver's failure to stop to help an injured man. It was homicide, they said.
"If he had gotten medical attention, he probably would have survived," traffic investigation Sgt. John Fahrenthold said.
Wednesday, police arrested Chante Mallard, a 25-year-old nurse's aide, basing their case primarily on Mallard's confession about four months later of what happened on an October night as she drove near the East Loop 820 split with U.S. 287.
Mike Heiskell, Mallard's attorney, called the woman's arrest on a murder warrant premature.
"I think this is overreaching on the part of the prosecution and the police, and in the end, I believe the law will shake out that this was simply a case of failure to stop and render aid," Heiskell said.
By Mallard's account, as told to police, she had been drinking and using Ecstasy that October night and was driving home when she struck a man. The impact hurled him headfirst through the windshield, his broken legs protruding onto the hood.
She panicked, she said, and with the man lodged in the windshield, she drove a few miles to her home. There, she parked her 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier in the garage and lowered the door.
Biggs pleaded for help, she told police.
He got none. Not then, or for the next two or three days, as he remained lodged in the windshield, bleeding and slowly going into shock, police said.
Mallard told police she periodically went into the garage to check on the man. She said she apologized profusely to him for what she had done but ignored his cries for help.
When the man died, several of the woman's acquaintances helped remove his body, putting it into the trunk of another car and driving to Cobb Park, where they dumped it, police quoted the woman as saying. Two men found the body Oct. 27.
"This goes so far beyond failure to stop and render aid because she did more than not render aid," Alpert said. "She made it impossible for anyone else to do so."
Mallard first surfaced in the investigation last month when police received a tip that she might have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, Fahrenthold said.
Mallard had recently told a friend "bits and pieces" about an accident when questioned at a party about why she was no longer driving her car, Fahrenthold said.
"Within the next day or so this girl came forward and told what had happened because she couldn't live with that," he said.
On Feb. 26, police obtained a search warrant for Mallard's house in the 3800 block of Wilbarger Street. Inside her garage, they found the damaged Cavalier. Blood, hair and other trace evidence was visible inside and outside the car, he said.
The car's seats had been removed and were found in the back yard, one of them burned, Fahrenthold said.
Mallard agreed to go to the police station for questioning. There, she gave a statement and was arrested for failure to stop and render aid.
She was free on bail when officers arrived at her home Wednesday morning and arrested her on the upgraded warrant charging her with murder. Later in the day, she was released on a $10,000 writ bond.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office has told police that Biggs suffered no internal injuries and apparently died from loss of blood and shock, Fahrenthold said.
The investigation is continuing and other arrests are expected, he said.
"We think there are other people involved, at least after he had passed, in taking the body and putting it in the park," he said.
Biggs' mother, Meredith Biggs, said she and her son had been estranged for several years. Medical examiner's records listed Gregory Biggs' address as 1415 E. Lancaster Ave., a homeless shelter.
Meredith Biggs said she and her daughter, Janeen, had recently begun looking for him. They were frightened when a search on an ancestry Web site a couple of months ago indicated that he had died. They prayed it was a hoax.
Wednesday, she learned it was not, and was told the details about her son's death.
"How could she just leave him like that to die?" she sobbed. "Drugs and alcohol wear off, so why didn't she get him some help?
"I should have prayed more."