More charges for driver accused of plowing into Las Vegas pedestrians

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 20, 2016 12:43 PM

By Alexia Shurmur

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - An Oregon woman facing a murder charge for killing a tourist when she drove onto a sidewalk and caused chaos on the Las Vegas Strip was charged on Wednesday with dozens more counts, including attempted murder, for harming other pedestrians, prosecutors said.

Lakeisha Holloway, 24, has been charged with 71 counts, most of them for attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon for striking more than 30 people with her sedan on Dec. 20, according to the charging document.

Holloway was originally charged with murder in the death of an Arizona woman, as well as child abuse or neglect for having her 3-year-old daughter in the back seat and failure to stop after a collision.

Prosecutors said they dropped the failure-to-stop charge, but that the other charges remained and Holloway was charged with another count of child abuse for striking an 11-year-old boy with her car.

Holloway, who police say was living in her car with her daughter for a week before the incident, already faced the possibility of life in prison if convicted of murder.

"These additional charges reflect the totality of the lives impacted by the defendant's actions," Clark County District Attorney Steven Wolfson said in a statement.

The deadly scene on the Las Vegas Strip, an international tourist destination, unfolded as Holloway repeatedly drove her Oldsmobile onto the sidewalk, ramming pedestrians, police said.

Holloway faces the possibility of more than 1,000 years behind bars if convicted and given consecutive prison terms for each offense, Wolfson said.

Holloway showed little emotion as she appeared, in handcuffs, in a Las Vegas court on Wednesday.

After her arrest she was held in a what is known as a medically restricted jail unit for inmates on suicide watch or requiring increased supervision. Her public defender, Joseph Abood, said on Wednesday she had been moved to the jail's general population.

"She's doing somewhat better; she's still in a very difficult state of mind," he said.

Prosecutors have not said what may have motivated Holloway to drive onto the sidewalk.

Several victims were badly injured. Nearly a month later, one man remained hospitalized in serious condition at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, a facility spokeswoman said.

Holloway has been held without bail since she was arrested after parking her car and telling a hotel worker to call 911. She is due in court again on Feb. 4.

(Reporting by Alexia Shurmur, writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Alan Crosby, Frances Kerry and Dan Grebler)