Victim’s daughter says she forgives driver sentenced in deadly police chase crash

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Miss. — One of the suspects accused of being involved in a police chase across North Mississippi that led to a fatal wreck in Byhalia was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

Tae'ona Edmondson was charged with second-degree murder, fleeing law enforcement with a vehicle and felony fleeing in Marshall and Union counties after being involved in a crash that killed Lisa Gay on Interstate 22. In addition to the time in prison, Edmondson will also have five years supervised probation. Authorities said she will not be granted early release.

Tae’ona Edmondson (left) and Tanairy Portal

Lisa Gay's family members were allowed to address Edmondson at the sentencing Wednesday. Gay's father said he doesn't have long to live, and Edmondson took away a fine, loving person.

"I hope you receive the maximum that they could ever give you," he said. "Every November 29th for as long as I'm alive, I will come to see you in prison to remind you of what you did."

But the most emotional part of the morning came when Gay's daughter embraced Edmondson.

"I told her that I forgive her as a person," she said. "I hope that she can forgive herself. She told me 'thank you,' and it meant the world to her for me to hug her and to forgive her, and that she is so sorry. She never meant for this to happen."

Lisa Gay (left) was killed in a crash that happened while DeSoto County deputies were pursuing suspects.

It began at 1 p.m. on November 2018 when DeSoto County authorities attempted to stop a vehicle on U.S. 78, which turns into I-22. The suspect refused to stop and led deputies on a brief chase until they crossed into Marshall County.

DeSoto County deputies called Marshall County, whose deputies picked up the high-speed chase.

Deputies said Edmondson crashed her vehicle in Byhalia, killing Gay. Edmondson then got into another vehicle driven by co-defendant Tanairy Portal and the two continued.

When they crossed into Union County, authorities there picked up the chase. The pursuit ended when Edmondson and Portal's vehicle allegedly hit a Mississippi Highway Patrol vehicle head-on.

The two women and the trooper were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. MHP said Edmondson was the driver in both crashes.

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