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Hawaii woman found guilty 3 years after fatal hit-and-run

August 31, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii woman was found guilty of negligent homicide and fleeing the scene of a fatal traffic accident three years after hitting a teenager with her car, officials said.

A state jury reached the verdict Thursday after deliberating less than two hours in the case against 26-year-old Myisha Lee Armitage.

Armitage was drunk, speeding and driving recklessly before hitting 19-year-old Kaulana Werner in April 2016 while he was crossing Farrington Highway on his way home in Nanakuli, the state said.

Prosecutors were not surprised at the verdict because there was overwhelming evidence against the driver.

Armitage was “not credible. Everything she said contradicted a lot of the other evidence,” Deputy Prosecutor Duane Kokesch told The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Armitage and her attorney declined to comment.

The verdict comes a day after Armitage testified that she was speeding and blacked out the day of the crash, Hawaii News Now reported . Armitage also told jurors she doesn’t remember hitting Werner.

Before the trial, the Werner family organized sign-waving events along the highway encouraging drivers to be more aware, reports said.

The family also advocated for harsher penalties against intoxicated drivers leading to Kaulana’s Bill, a state law allowing judges to double the sentences of drivers found guilty of negligent homicide if they also fled the scene. It went into effect in July 2018.

The new sentencing guidelines do not apply in this case.

“We just ask everybody out there: If you drink, get a designated driver. That’s all we can do. If they need to get somewhere, then leave little bit early,” Kaulana’s father, Edward Werner told the Star-Advertiser.

Armitage remains free on bail with a 9 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew, and faces a maximum 10-year prison term for each charge.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 1.

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