Woman who drove car into crowded Las Vegas strip begs to see 3-year-old daughter

Murder suspect Lakeisha Holloway is on 24-hour suicide watch and ‘heartbroken and torn up’ as she begs to be allowed to see her three-year-old daughter – but appeared stony-faced during her first appearance in court on Wednesday.

Daily Mail Online has learned she is set to face a custody battle over the child who she took along with her when she allegedly mowed down 39 people, killing one and critically injuring three others.

Holloway, 24, appeared at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday, charged with one count of murder through use of a deadly weapon in the death of a Jessica Valenzuela, a 32-year-old Arizona mother-of-three, who was among the pedestrians struck by her sedan.

A coroner in Nevada ruled Valenzuela’s death a homicide, determining that she died from multiple blunt-force injuries.

The homicide finding was expected, and it doesn’t find fault. That’ll be up to the courts.

Holloway has also been charged with child abuse or neglect, and with leaving the scene of a collision.

She stood in shackles Wednesday and didn’t enter a plea during her brief court appearance.

Clad in a blue jail jumpsuit with her hands cuffed to a chain around her waist, she appeared alert but subdued during an appearance in Clark County criminal court lasting less than five minutes.

She stood upright and nodded her head when asked if she understood the charges against her and to acknowledge that she understood she’ll remain in jail through the holidays while both sides investigate the crash.

And sources said the suspect, from Portland, Oregon, had been repeatedly asking to see her daughter – but she has been denied the right and is in ‘lock down and isolation’ at Clark County Jail.

The father, who lives in Dallas,Texas, has come forward and is talking to lawyers about the future of his daughter – who is being cared for by social workers and child protection specialists.

The accused’s mother and family have said they want to take the child with the grandmother insisting that she would be best placed to care for her.

‘She’s very concerned about her child. She’s a loving mother,’ said her public defender, Joseph Abood.

According to Las Vegas police spokesman Michael Rodriguez, Holloway is being held in a ‘medically restricted’ jail unit set aside for inmates requiring increased supervision, including those on suicide watch.

A source said of her prison detention that she was finding it very difficult as she had never been involved in a run in with the law before.

‘Everything that she could possibly use to harm herself has been removed from her cell and she is under 24 hour surveillance.

‘There is a fear that she could take her own life. She has been told the full possibilities of the legal process against her and the ultimate danger of the death penalty.

‘But she is highly likely to be pleading not guilty.’

She is being assessed as to whether she may be suffering from insanity and whether she could argue that this led to the carnage.

Her defense is likely to include the claim that she became frightened when people began jumping on her vehicle on Las Vagas’s Strip last Sunday evening, causing her to panic and try to escape through the revelers.

But Clark County District Attorney Steven Wolfson said her car had veered from the road and onto the sidewalk and returned to the road before repeating the action.

Wolfson said he expected additional charges to be brought against Holloway, depending on results of drug and alcohol tests and the police investigation.

‘I don’t know what she was thinking, normal people don’t do what she did, but we all have stressors in our lives,’ Wolfson told reporters.

He described the incident as a ‘horrendous and inexcusable act.’ He previously said that seeking the death penalty was ‘a consideration’.

Holloway has been detained without bond since her arrest shortly after Sunday’s incident, which happened near Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe beauty pageant was being held.

Authorities said Holloway had been living in her car with her daughter in Las Vegas for about a week and had been driving on a suspended Oregon license.

Police said Holloway repeatedly drove her automobile onto the sidewalk, ramming pedestrians and street posts as bystanders pounded on the windows and tried to pull open her car door to stop her.

According to a police report, she then drove about a mile away on a flat tire, parked and asked a hotel employee to call police before surrendering.

Three victims remained hospitalized in critical condition on Tuesday and two were in serious condition, an area hospital said.

   Police said Holloway (pictured) repeatedly drove her automobile onto the sidewalk, ramming pedestrians

Holloway, a former part-time U.S. Forest Service employee, told detectives she had been trying to sleep in her car earlier on Sunday but became stressed when she was repeatedly chased off by security guards, the police report said.

Holloway may have stopped in Las Vegas en route to Texas, where her daughter’s estranged father lives, and the couple may have quarreled, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

He said it was otherwise unclear what might have ’caused her to snap.’

In 2012, Holloway received an award from an Oregon career-mentoring organization, the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, for being a role model to high school students.

Her next court date is scheduled for January 20.

Source: The DailyMail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top