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Woman pleads not guilty to hit-and-run charges in bicyclist's death

A 23-year-old Gardena woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges in the death of a 60-year-old bicyclist in an alleged hit-and-run in June.

Vanessa Marie Yanez appeared at Los Angeles County Superior Court in Torrance and pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and perjury by declaration. Yanez was charged Oct. 30, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

The fatal incident occurred June 26 as Yanez was allegedly driving eastbound on El Segundo Boulevard in Gardena. The cyclist, Jesse Dotson Jr., was killed. The next morning, Yanez reported her vehicle stolen, according to prosecutors.

Yanez is scheduled to reappear in court Dec. 13 for a preliminary hearing. Yanez’s bond was set at $75,000 during Wednesday's arraignment, said Shiara Davila-Morales, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. 

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