Driver pleads not guilty to attempted murder

A Newport Beach woman who prosecutors allege tried to ram an Orange County sheriff's deputy with her SUV pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder and related charges.

Rebecca Lee McLaughlin, 48, faces one count each of attempted murder of a peace officer, using a non-firearm in an assault on a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury.

She pleaded not guilty to all three felony counts in Orange County Superior Court's Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, court records show.

Prosecutors assert that McLaughlin broke through a barricade at a John Wayne Airport parking structure on July 16 and then drove through the lot before trying to exit.

The officer responded to the noise and tried to stop her. Prosecutors say that's when she turned toward him and hit him.

The officer landed on the hood of the SUV and McLaughlin tried to drive away but ran over a curb and hit a pole, Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in July.

According to Hallock, the officer got off the hood and arrested the woman.

McLaughlin is scheduled for a pretrial motion Sept. 19.

— Beau Nicolette

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