Woman accused in deadly Vegas sidewalk crash due in court

Memorial at Vegas sidewalk crash scene. Copyright, The Associated Press. Dec. 22, 2015
People stop to look at makeshift memorial for crash victims on the strip in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. A woman accused of intentionally plowing a car carrying her young daughter through crowds of pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip was charged Tuesday with murder, child abuse and hit-and-run. The crash killed Jessica Valenzuela, 32, of Buckeye, Ariz., and injured at least 35 people. (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A woman from Oregon accused of intentionally plowing her car with her 3-year-old daughter in the back seat through crowds of pedestrians on a Las Vegas Strip sidewalk faces a judge Wednesday on felony murder, hit-and-run and child abuse charges.

But one key question is likely to remain unanswered during Lakeisha Nicole Holloway’s initial court appearance: What might have driven a 24-year-old former model of accomplishment by at-risk teens to what authorities call a homicidal act that put her child in danger?

One of her public defense attorneys, Joseph Abood, said Holloway plans to plead not guilty. In Nevada, the plea is assumed during an initial court appearance. Holloway won’t be asked to answer the charges against her until a preliminary hearing in coming weeks.

“We can all agree this is a shocking and tragic event,” Abood said as he expressed sympathy for the families of Jessica Valenzuela and at least 35 people injured in the Sunday evening crash near the Paris Las Vegas resort.

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