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Woman Pleads Guilty to Murder With Vehicle

March 17, 2006

By Kevin Hoffmann, The Kansas City Star, Mo.

Mar. 17–A Kansas City woman pleaded guilty Thursday to using her vehicle to run down her boyfriend and then leaving him in the street, where another car ran over and killed him.

Regina R. Williams, 37, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and assault in the death of 32-year-old Maurice S. Landis, also of Kansas City. Williams faces up to 17½ years in prison. Prosecutors agreed to drop an armed criminal action charge that carried a possible sentence of life in prison.

In answering questions from a Jackson County Circuit judge, Williams said she understood she was waiving her right to a trial. Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors — to gain a murder conviction –would have had to prove Landis died as the result of Williams committing a felony.

More than a dozen relatives and friends of Landis were at the hearing.

Williams testified she was drinking alcohol at a party Oct. 30, 2004, when she and Landis began fighting. The two continued to fight outside, and Williams got into her GMC Jimmy and began chasing Landis. She drove onto a grassy area and struck Landis. He ended up in the street in the 5200 block of Blue Ridge Cutoff, where another car hit and dragged him.

When tested by police, Williams had a blood-alcohol content of 0.125 percent.

During the hearing, Williams said Landis repeatedly had struck her in the past.

Sentencing was set for May.

To reach Kevin Hoffmann, call (816) 234-7801 or send e-mail to khoffmann@kcstar.com

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