Lalla expected to plead guilty today

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 11, 2013 5:00 AM

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An Iowa City woman accused of accidentally killing a friend by running her over with her truck is expected to plead guilty today.

Miranda Lalla, 50, will appear in front of a District Court judge at 10 a.m. in a vehicular-homicide case that resulted in the death of Pamela Gross on June 18, 2012.

The trial will begin at 10 a.m. at the Johnson County Courthouse.

Officers were dispatched to 313 E. First St. on June 17, 2012, after receiving a report of a motor-vehicle accident with an injury.

In speaking with officers, Lalla reportedly said she was at a job site and had a few beers on that evening. According to a previous Iowa City police complaint, Lalla told officials she drove Gross home, and in the parking lot they began to physically fight.

When Lalla got into her truck and attempted to leave, she knocked Gross over with an open door before running her over, resulting in her death.

Lalla was accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, an aggravated misdemeanor.

After taking a portable breath test following the incident, a blood-alcohol level of 0.093 was reported, above the legal limit of 0.08, the complaint said.

Lalla has a previous OWI conviction in May 2006.

On Sept. 11, 2012, The Daily Iowan received a letter in which Lalla requested a change of venue and attorney.

“I do not want anyone or anything involved in my case having anything to do with the surrounding area,” Lalla wrote in the letter. Her request for a new lawyer was granted on Oct. 9, 2012, and Brandon Shrock, public defender from Linn County, was appointed to be her attorney.

Today’s court proceedings follow several judicial delays and continuances.

Lalla had been scheduled to go to trial on May 7. According to court records, the 50-year-old waived her right to a speedy trial. Her attorney was granted a continuance.

According to court documents, Lalla declared she would plead guilty on Sept. 27 prior to a trial that had been set for Tuesday.

Vehicular homicide is a Class-B felony.

— by Abigail Meier

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