Woman accused of driving into Las Vegas crowd appears in court

Las Vegas Suspect Was Once Praised As Role Model in Inspirational Video
Las Vegas Suspect Was Once Praised As Role Model in Inspirational Video

An Oregon woman accused of plowing her car into a crowd on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one person and injuring dozens, made her first court appearance on Wednesday (December 23) to face charges that include murder.

Lakeisha Holloway, 24, who police said had her 3-year-old daughter with her in the car at the time, has been charged with one count of murder through use of a deadly weapon in the death of a 32-year-old Arizona woman who was among the pedestrians struck by the car.

Holloway has been detained without bond since her arrest shortly after Sunday's incident, which happened near Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe beauty pageant was being held.

She was being held in a "medically restricted" jail unit set aside for inmates requiring increased supervision, including those on suicide watch, according to Las Vegas police spokesman Michael Rodriguez.

She has also been charged with child abuse or neglect, and with leaving the scene of a collision, according to the criminal complaint filed in Clark County court.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he expected additional charges to be brought against Holloway, describing the incident as a "horrendous and inexcusable act."

Authorities said Holloway had been living in her car with her daughter in Las Vegas for about a week and had been driving on a suspended Oregon license.

Police said Holloway repeatedly drove her automobile onto the sidewalk, ramming pedestrians and street posts as bystanders pounded on the windows and tried to pull open her car door to stop her. According to a police report, she then drove about a mile away on a flat tire, parked and asked a hotel employee to call police before surrendering.

Three victims remained hospitalized in critical condition on Tuesday and two were in serious condition, an area hospital said.

Holloway, a former part-time U.S. Forest Service employee, told detectives she had been trying to sleep in her car earlier on Sunday but became stressed when she was repeatedly chased off by security guards, the police report said.

Holloway may have stopped in Las Vegas en route to Texas, where her daughter's father lives, and the couple may have quarreled, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo. He said it was otherwise unclear what might have "caused her to snap."

In 2012, Holloway received an award from an Oregon career-mentoring organization, the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, for being a role model to high school students.

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