Linn County Woman Charged With Murder & Homicide by Vehicle
Authorities have charged a Central City woman with intentionally striking a fellow Central City resident with her vehicle, causing his death.
The Linn County Sheriff's Office has announced in a release that 59-year-old Melinda Lawrence is facing three different charges following an August 30 incident in Central City. Authorities allege 54-year-old Jeffrey Alan Scott was killed when Lawrence's vehicle hit him either when he was on or beside his bicycle.
An investigation by the Linn County Sheriff's Office indicated Lawrence was driving home when she saw Scott and his bicycle near Barber St. and N. Marion Road in Central City. Authorities say Lawrence followed Scott into the parking lot behind Dollar General Store and
... intentionally drove towards Scott, striking both Scott and his bicycle that was pulling a cart.
After striking Scott, Lawrence left the scene and made no attempt to render aid or call for assistance.
According to the release, the cart that Scott had been pulling was caught underneath the vehicle driven by Lawrence. A Linn County Sheriff's Deputy saw the vehicle, dragging something, and stopped Lawrence not far from where the incident had occurred. The Deputy, who was not aware at the time that Lawrence had been involved in the accident, reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol.
A 911 call came in after the traffic stop, reporting an unresponsive man that witnesses believed was struck by a light-colored SUV that had left the scene. Scott was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Lawrence was detained for questioning and became unconscious and unresponsive. She was taken by ambulance to an area hospital, where a blood sample was taken. The test showed her blood alcohol level was 0.168, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
Lawrence has charged with Murder-1st Degree, Homicide by Vehicle, and Leaving the Scene of a Fatality Accident. She's being held in the Linn County Jail in Cedar Rapids.