One member of the Tennessee Board of Parole on Thursday recommended the denial of parole of Bradley County resident Tiffany Isaza; the remaining six members who viewed the hearing interview via teleconference will review case files and render their votes within two weeks.
Four board votes are needed to release an inmate incarcerated in the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
Isaza is imprisoned in Nashville following her 2010 conviction of vehicular homicide and child endangerment in connection with the fatal APD-40 crash that took the life of 24-year-old Dustin Ledford.
Backed by approximately 1,600 signatures on petitions and at least 100 letters from interested parties that objected to Isaza’s early release on parole, Ledford’s parents — Danny and Kim — attended the Nashville hearing.
Parole suggestion was denied by the lone parole board member conducting the hearing, but the other six members viewed the proceedings by teleconference from across the state. This is a traditional format for parole hearings in Tennessee.
Leading up to Thursday’s hearing, Isaza had spent two years of a 10-year sentence ordered in the vehicular homicide of (Dustin) Ledford. Isaza was sentenced to eight years in the Tennessee Department of Corrections for the July 2010 car crash that killed Ledford and an additional two years for child endangerment after she reportedly left her two small children unattended the night of the crash.
Isaza had alcohol and methamphetamine in her system at the time of the head-on collision which occurred on APD-40.
She left her two small children at home and drove toward Cleveland on APD-40. She was traveling on the bypass in the wrong direction. In the darkness, Dustin Ledford was traveling east on APD-40 when Isaza’s vehicle collided with his.
“I called the Parole Board earlier this week and they said they estimated 100 letters had been sent,” according to Kim Ledford. “I asked how many letters opposing parole are typically sent and the official said there was no general figure — as few as five and as many as 20.”
“We have been overwhelmed with support,” she added.
Among those opposing Isaza’s early release was the district attorney general’s office of the 10th Judicial District. Submitting the letter of objection was Brooklyn Martin, assistant district attorney.
Ledford updated the Cleveland Daily Banner Thursday morning from Nashville, just hours before the hearing.
The Ledfords made the trip to Nashville Wednesday evening and stayed at the home of a family who had lost their child in February as the result of a DUI crash. Ledford said the case file will be circulated to six other parole board members and a written acceptance or denial will be issued.
Ledford said it was learned during the investigation after the deadly crash that Isaza had experienced domestic relationship problems and was a victim of alleged domestic abuse.
Just after her incarceration, the Banner reported Isaza was among a group of women who had taken part in “Relationships 411.”
The program was held for female inmates at the Bradley County Jail. Isaza confirmed she had been in an abusive relationship and drinking prior to the fatal crash.
During an interview, Isaza said she loved the class.
“I learned how to communicate better and deal with conflicts, anger and abuse in a more appropriate way,” Isaza said.
According to Ledford, she said Isaza spoke of the classes she was attending to better herself.
“I hope she is able to change and get away from the lifestyle she was in,” Ledford said. “We should get a disclosure of the full board decision in approximately two weeks.”
According to Ledford, if all members of the Parole Board agree on no parole, Isaza will have the opportunity to face them again in September 2014.