BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For the first time since Barry Moss was killed, his family on Monday heard Gabrielle Ballowe, the woman they always believed responsible for his death, plead guilty in court.
Moss was hit and killed while riding his bicycle on a street in Evans in Dec. 2013. He was 52.
Ballowe, 50, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident without reporting resulting in serious physical injury, a felony.
"This defendant would have never pleaded guilty had she believed she would prevail to trial," said Michael Flaherty, the acting Erie County district attorney.
Ballowe recounted how she was driving down Route 5 in Evans when she realized her SUV hit something. Ballowe maintained she didn't flee, but instead drove off, to her home about one mile away.
Despite Ballowe admitting in the courtroom she hit Moss that winter night, her attorney, Thomas Eoannou, said the accident was not her fault.
"Unfortunately, there was someone driving a bike on December 22 in the middle of a dark and foggy night, and an accident occurred," said Eoannou. "I've said it from day one, now everyone agrees it was an accident and it wasn't Gabriele's fault."
Other charges Ballowe was facing, including vehicular manslaughter, have been dropped. She also waived her right to appeal. It's all in an effort to bring the Moss family closure.
"Today was a very positive thing for us," said Megan Moss, Moss' daughter.
"We just want to thank everyone involved from the bottom to the top of our hearts," said Cassandra Moss, who is also Moss' daughter.
"There's always the uncertainty. [A victim's family] Never get to hear the person who took the life of their loved one say 'I did it,'" Flaherty said.
Ballowe will be back in court Dec.20 for sentencing. She could face up to four years in prison; but, the district attorney's office and Moss' family requested the judge sentence her to no more than one year.
An indictment is still pending on the woman accused of helping Ballowe cover up the accident.