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Woman Guilty in Fatal Hit-and-Run

A Woodland Hills woman pleaded guilty Friday in Van Nuys Municipal Court to charges she ran over a 13-year-old boy and then drove away.

Joan H. Mills, 60, originally told police, “I thought it was a dog,” when questioned about the 1993 hit-and-run in which Matthew Fischer was killed at Oxnard Street and Shoup Avenue after stepping off a school bus.

Police testified at her preliminary hearing that Mills was traveling at least 40 m.p.h in a school zone and that she ran a red light after shaking her finger at another motorist.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Schuit said Mills was not offered a plea agreement but will be sent to prison on Feb. 27 for a 90-day evaluation period, after which the judge will determine an appropriate sentence. She faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

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“I agree with her decision because that is what she did,” Schuit said. “A 13-year-old boy was killed and the woman left the scene.”

Mills’ attorney, Irene Coyle, would not comment on her client’s decision.


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