Tucson woman given 1-month in jail, probation in deadly hit-and-run

2014-02-01T00:00:00Z 2014-02-01T14:40:57Z Tucson woman given 1-month in jail, probation in deadly hit-and-runBy Patrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A woman accused in the deadly hit-and-run of a pedestrian has been sentenced to one month in jail and three years’ probation.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Paul Tang  sentenced Rebecca Lanette Valenzuela on Friday following her guilty plea to fleeing the scene of an accident in August.

Valenzuela was the driver of a van that struck and killed 29-year-old Angelic Monica Barnes, who was walking across Irvington Road near South Freemont Avenue. She was not in a crosswalk.

Dozens of Valenzuela’s family members filled the courtroom for Friday’s emotional and tear-filled sentencing.

Valenzuela and two passengers fled the crash scene and did not contact police until the following day.

Deputy Pima County Attorney Elizabeth Farkas asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence the plea agreement allowed, citing the pain and suffering the incident caused the victim and the family’s suffering.

Valenzuela’s attorney, Rubin Salter, said his client fled in a panic.

The prosecution and family members of Barnes also said Valenzuela attempted to cover up the incident by seeking to have the windshield replaced on her car the day after the crash. Salter said the characterization was inaccurate.

“The fact is, the person had been called to fix a windshield (on a different car) the day before this happened,” he said. “There was no intent to hide anything.”

Valenzuela apologized, saying she had taken responsibility for what she did. “I understand leaving the scene was not the right thing to do,” she said.

In addition to jail and probation, Valenzuela must perform 200 hours of community service, submit to drug and alcohol monitoring and continue any mental-health treatment.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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