RUTLAND, Vt. — A Vermont man accused of causing a 2016 hit-and-run that killed a 57-year-old man has pleaded guilty.

The Rutland Herald reports 42-year-old Thomas Velde Jr. pleaded guilty Thursday in Rutland to gross negligent operation with death resulting and leaving the scene of an accident with death resulting.

Velde’s mother, 58-year-old Lisa Velde, had lied and said she caused the crash that killed Leo Branchaud in order to protect her son. Thomas Velde Jr. had over 40 prior convictions. Lisa Velde was later sentenced to eight months in jail.

Prosecutors say Thomas Velde was drinking before the fatal crash. His lawyers argued the crash was accidental. Police said Velde told investigators his truck’s rear brakes weren’t working at the time of the crash.

Information from: Rutland Herald,

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