Conscience attacks hit-and-run suspect

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The driver allegedly involved in a Montevallo hit-an-run incident that sent a woman to the hospital two weeks ago turned himself in to Montevallo Police last week.

Lt. Baird Pickett, an investigator for the Montevallo Police Department, said Stephen Judd, 38, of Montevallo, a friend of the hit-and-run victim, turned himself in with a written confession.

The victim, who was expected to be released from the hospital, was identified as Kelly Coughlin, 23, of Montevallo.

She underwent surgery for head injuries following the incident.

It was reported that Coughlin and a friend were walking home west on Island Street at about 2 a.m. in downtown Montevallo on Sunday, Jan. 11.

According to Pickett, the women reported hearing a truck as it approached them from behind but did not see any headlights.

He said the truck struck the victim from behind tossing her 15 to 20 feet through the air with the impact knocking her shoes off. He also said the victim was unconscious as the truck sped away, ran a stop sign and forced another car off the road.

According to Pickett, Judd was a friend of the victim.


said Judd’s vehicle was a suspect vehicle in the case after witnesses gave its description.

Pickett said he questioned Judd last Thursday. He said he also found out that Judd had been in the vehicle on the previous Saturday and that he had tried to hide the vehicle at a friend’s house in Birmingham.

Pickett said he sent a Montevallo homicide detective to Birmingham to pick up the vehicle.

Pickett explained that Judd felt so bad about the incident that he turned himself in at 10 a.m. Friday and provided a written confession.

According to Pickett, the hit-and-run was unintentional.

However, he said, Judd was charged with first degree assault and booked into the Shelby County Jail