Iowa City Woman to Plead Guilty to Hitting, Killing Friend With Truck

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa - More than a year after Iowa City police said 51-year-old Miranda Lalla hit and killed her friend with a Dodge Ram truck in a parking lot, she is set to plead guilty in the case.

Lalla is scheduled to plead guilty to vehicular homicide and drunken driving on Oct. 11, according to online court records. Vehicular homicide, when associated with a drunken driving charge, is a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Lalla has been in custody since June 18, 2012, and her trial had been reset five times – with the final date coming Oct. 8 – before the hearing for her guilty plea was scheduled Friday. She remains in custody on a $100,000 cash-only bond, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.

She's accused of killing her friend, Pamela Gross, 44, of Iowa City, by running over her with a truck on June 17 in the apartment complex parking lot at 315 First St. in Iowa City. Officers responded to the complex about 7 p.m. and found Gross with fatal injuries, according to police reports.

She was rushed to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where she was pronounced dead. Officers, through further investigation, learned that Lalla and Gross had gotten into an argument that had escalated into a physical fight, according to court documents.

When Lalla tried to leave the scene in her truck, according to police, Gross stood next to the open driver's side door and was knocked down as Lalla reversed. Lalla told police that she had been at the Jobsite bar in Iowa City earlier that evening and drove a friend home, according to documents. She said they began arguing in the parking lot.

Officers tested Lalla's blood-alcohol content level at the scene at .093, according to police.

Lalla has a long criminal history in Iowa, including felony convictions for drug, theft and probation violations.
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