Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Daniel Okonkwo, Deputy District Attorney
North County Office
(650) 324-6409   For Release on June 3, 2003.   MEGAN COUGHRAN PLEADED GUILTY TO HIT & RUN AND VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER IN THE DEATH OF SIX YEAR OLD AMY MALZBENDER AND THE SERIOUS INJURY OF TEN YEAR OLD CHLOE McCAUSLAND   June 2, 2003, Palo Alto Court House, Department 89, Megan Coughran withdrew her earlier plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to felony hit and run resulting in permanent serious injury or death in violation of California Vehicle Code §20001(a)/(b)(2) and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in violation of California Penal Code §192(c)(2).    The defendant faces up to one year in the county jail and five years of formal probation.  As a result of the convictions, the defendant’s driver’s license, which had already been suspended indefinitely by the DMV, will be revoked for a period of not less than one year.   The People have agreed to dismiss the remaining count of felony hit and run in exchange for the defendant’s change of plea to the above charges.   On January 28, 2003 at approximately 7:30 a.m., six year old Amy Malzbender and her ten year old friend and next-door neighbor Chloe McCausland, were biking to school when they stopped on the side of the road to wait for Amy’s father and eight year old brother to catch up to them.  As the girls stood waiting, the defendant drove her station wagon into them, striking both girls.  The defendant failed to stop her car and drove on to school after stopping a few blocks away to pick up her boyfriend.  Amy was later pronounced dead at Stanford Hospital.  Chloe sustained serious injuries to her left leg requiring multiple surgeries, a lengthy hospitalization and continuing physical therapy.    Sentencing will be on July 24 at 1:30 before the Honorable Diane Northway, Judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court.  

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