- Associated Press - Saturday, August 15, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - People filled a downtown courtroom to capacity Friday for the sentencing hearing of a teenager who admitted to hitting and killing a cyclist in 2014.

Alexandra Ellis, now 18, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide for the hit-and-run crash that killed 51-year-old Jeff Holder-Dusenbury as he rode his bike on an Anchorage street, KTUU-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1Ko20WY ).

Ellis, who was 17 at the time of the crash, admitted to hosting a party with alcohol and drugs the night before the accident. Her blood alcohol was found to be over the legal limit.

Anchorage district attorney Clint Campion has asked for Ellis to serve between one and three years in jail as part of her plea deal. Meanwhile, Ellis’ attorney William Ingaldson wants the case transferred to juvenile court.

Ingaldson called crash reconstruction expert Jay Smith as a witness during Friday’s emotional hearing at Boney Courthouse.

Smith said Dusenbury was probably riding at 30 mph at the time of the crash. Ellis, who was backing up a Chevrolet truck, was likely going about 12 mph, he said.

After Smith’s testimony, some of Dusenbury’s friends and family members provided testimony and argued that Ellis’ sentence should be harsher.

“We all wanted what was fair justice,” said Mike Vania, a friend of Dusenbury. “We’re not looking for Ms. Ellis’ head on a platter, just a sentence to fit the crime.”

The hearing will continue Monday.


Information from: KTUU-TV, https://www.ktuu.com

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