TAMPA (FOX 13) - There were tears and an unexpected "thank you" in a Tampa courtroom today during the sentencing for a hit-and-run driver.
Mac Joiner pleaded guilty today in the death of 25-year-old Thomas Woods about two years ago.
The victim's mother, Teresa Johnson, asked the judge if she could address Joiner. The judge allowed it.
Johnson turned to him and said, "thank you for turning yourself in."
The tearful defendant replied, "I'm so sorry."
Investigators say, after hitting Woods on a Seffner road, Joiner took off, but hours later turned himself in to police. He told detectives he couldn't avoid hitting woods, but one look at his truck and the Woods family questioned his actions.
At his sentencing, Joiner said he was sorry.
"It was an accident, it was an accident," he insisted.
Johnson says the anguish and heartache are constant. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't sit down and cry. All I have is pictures. This is the latest picture I have of him."
With his guilty plea, Joiner was handcuffed and taken off to prison, where he will spend the next five years thinking about the life he took from a loving family.