Police say woman did U-turn to run over coworker
JANESVILLE -- The wheels of the SUV squealed as it made a U-turn and accelerated toward the woman, as heard in a cellphone video taken at the scene, according to a criminal complaint.
The vehicle crossed the center line and hit the woman, who bounced up onto the hood, fell back down and was dragged a few feet in the Friday incident, a witness said, according to the complaint.
Police held the driver on suspicion of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and hit-and-run causing injury, but prosecutors filed lesser charges against the Janesville woman Monday.
The Rock County District Attorney's Office charged Arielle L. Landing, 28, of 1207 Drake St., with aggravated battery and first-degree reckless injury, both by use of a dangerous weapon--the SUV.
Twenty years is the maximum prison sentence for the first charge, 30 for the other.
Landing made her initial appearance in Rock County Court on Monday after turning herself in Sunday.
“Everyone is lucky we are not dealing with a homicide, here,” Assistant District Attorney Kate Buker said as she argued for a $6,000 cash bond.
Landing is accused of hitting a co-worker with the SUV, briefly dragging the woman under the vehicle and then driving way.
A police report says she made another U-turn and stopped briefly to pick up passengers before driving away and that a 2-year-old child was in the SUV.
Debroah K. Marsh, 27, of Janesville, suffered collapsed lungs, multiple rib fractures, liver contusion and fractures to her pelvis, right clavicle, scapula and humerus, according to the criminal complaint.
Marsh will likely need surgery for the injury to her shoulder, the complaint states.
She was listed in good condition Monday at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville.
Buker said Landing had evaded police after the incident around 3 p.m. Friday but turned herself in Sunday.
Defense attorney Jason Sanders said Landing's stepfather approached police Friday and put them in touch with Landing, who promised to turn herself in as soon as she had made arrangements for the care of her three children.
Landing has one previous criminal conviction, misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2011 in Dane County, Sanders said.
Landing is not a flight risk, has lived in Janesville for five years and two of her children are in school here, Sanders told the court.
Court Commissioner Larry Barton, noting the seriousness of the charges and Landing's ties to the community, imposed a $1,000 cash bond and ordered her to have no contact with Marsh.
Both women worked at Impact Confections, 4017 Whitney St., and the incident happened in front of that business, police said.
Police said they are still looking into a motive.
“They both know each other through work, and they've both been romantically involved with the same guy. We can't confirm at this point whether or not that is what started this,” said police Lt. Terry Sheridan.
Witnesses told police two women were part of a fight at the intersection of Whitney and Kettering streets near the business and a man tried to break up the fight, according to the complaint.
Then, Landing got into the SUV, made a U-turn and crossed into the oncoming lane on Whitney Street and hit Marsh, according to the complaint.
Marsh told investigators she was leaving work and walking toward the road, where her mother was waiting to pick her up, when a man driving through the parking lot said something to her about getting beaten, according to the complaint.
She continued walking, the vehicle approached her again, and Landing got out and started swinging at her, Marsh said, according to the complaint.
Later, Marsh saw Landing driving at her and could not get out of the way in time, according to the complaint.
Landing's next appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 25.