Rutland County Woman Gets Jail Time For Lying In Fatal Hit And Run

Jun 23, 2017

Lisa Velde, 58, of Tinmouth will serve eight months of a one to three year jail sentence for impeding the police investigation in the 2016 hit-and-run death of Leo Branchaud.  

Judge Cortland Corsones imposed the sentence Friday in Rutland Superior Court. 

Velde initially told police she was driving the pick up truck that struck Branchaud, a 57-year-old dairy farmer from Tinmouth, who was walking near his driveway the evening of April 22, 2016.

But video surveillance from cameras on the Branchuad’s barn showed Velde’s son, 42-year old Thomas Velde Jr., was driving.

Rutland State’s Attorney Rose Kennedy says sending Lisa Velde to jail sends an important message: 

"To have credibility in this community, holding someone accountable for lying, when we can prove that, is important. And I think having a felony on her record and going to jail for what she did is necessary.”

Velde had pled not guilty but changed her plea to guilty in March. Kennedy said Lisa Velde will begin serving her sentence immediately.

According to court documents, Lisa Velde told police she lied to protect her son who has a lengthy criminal history and enough DUIs that his driver’s license had been suspended for life.

The Rutland County State’s Attorney is charging Thomas Velde Jr. as a habitual offender, which means he could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of causing Branchaud's death. 

A date for that trial has not yet been set.