Des Moines Register 02/12/06 Arrest made in hit-and-run death


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Des Moines Register

Arrest made in hit-and-run death
Alcohol may be factor in crash that killed ISU student


Iowa State University Police have arrested a person they say is responsible for the hit-and-run crash that caused the death of ISU student Kelly Jean Laughery in December.
Shanda Rae Munn, 20, of Lawler was taken to Story County Jail on Saturday on charges of homicide by vehicle, a class B felony, and failing to stop at an accident resulting in the death of another person, which is an aggravated misdemeanor. Police said they believe Munn attended a party before the accident, had been consuming alcohol at that party, and was under the influence of alcohol at the time that she struck and killed Laughery.
Police said they believe she was the only one in the car at the time of the accident.
If convicted, she faces 25 years in prison for the felony charge, and two years for the aggravated misdemeanor.
Laughery, 20, a member of Sigma Kappa sorority, was found lying on Mortensen Road at 4:27 a.m. Dec. 3. She was taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, where she was pronounced dead. Police determined she was struck from behind while walking east along the street.

"This whole thing has been a horribly unfortunate and tragic situation," said ISU Police Capt. Gene Deisinger. "It involved the death of a young woman, and most likely the life of another one is irrevocably changed."

Attorney Russell Schroeder of Charles City, who is Munn's attorney, said through an assistant that he had no comment on the arrest and doesn't believe it's appropriate to comment on pending cases in most instances.
ISU Police said there was no evidence that the vehicle had stopped at the scene or that the driver had rendered any aid to the victim.
Deisinger said police are continuing to look into the source of the alcohol at the party that Munn, who is under the legal drinking age, attended before the accident. He declined to say whether other charges are expected.
Last semester, Munn was registered as a junior majoring in pre-journalism and mass communication.
ISU spokeswoman Annette Hacker said she was unsure if Munn was a student this semester, but she has not been on campus this semester.
After surrendering to ISU Police at 6:40 a.m. Saturday, Munn was then taken to the Story County Jail, police said.
Bail was set at $75,000. She posted bail and was released Saturday, jail personnel said.

Register correspondent Eric Lund contributed to this article.


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