Woman who ran over bicyclist in parking lot takes plea deal

Melinda Lawrence (Courtesy image)
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP/KCRG) - A Central City woman accused of running over and killing a bicyclist has taken a plea deal.

Melinda Lawrence took the deal before jury selection was to begin Monday in Cedar Rapids. She pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide while intoxicated and other crimes.

Her murder charge was dropped.

The agreement calls for her sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 40 years.  

Prosecutors said Lawrence was driving home in Aug. 2018 when she spotted Jeffrey Scott. She reportedly followed Scott into the back parking lot of the Dollar General in Central City where she hit him.

Investigators say she did not call for help and left the scene with the cart that Scott was pulling pinned under her car.

A deputy stopped Lawrence a short distance from the scene after they noticed her car dragging something underneath. The deputy reported smelling alcohol coming from the car and asked her about the damage.

Later, witnesses called 911 to report finding Scott behind the Dollar General Store.

A court document says a friend of Scott told investigators Lawrence had been stalking Scott.