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Woman released from jail after taking plea deal in toddler’s death

By Haley Smith and Peter Samore, | Posted - Jan 27th, 2014 @ 6:55pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — A woman accused of hitting and killing a 2-year-old boy with her car accepted a plea deal Monday and was released from jail.

Kimberley Munoz, 21, pleaded guilty to one of the three charges against her, leaving the scene of an accident involving death. In exchange, state prosecutors dropped two smaller charges.

The accident happened on June 10. Angela Barnett was walking home from the store about 9:45 p.m. with her two young children. She was pushing 2-year-old Gavyn Barnett in a stroller across 5600 West near 4005 South, when Munoz’s car hit the stroller.

Munoz pulled over for a moment but then kept driving, according to West Valley police.

Barnett was also in court Monday and addressed the judge. She said the terms of Munoz’s plea deal don’t provide enough punishment, and she pleaded with the judge to give her boy justice.

But both the defense and prosecution say Gavyn's death wasn't Munoz's fault. They believe she had no time to react, and it was very dark outside at the time of the accident. Additionally, police say the victims were jaywalking.

“Like the state explained … that stroller was in a place where it shouldn’t have been; and accidents happen,” said defense attorney Bel-Ami de Montreux. “We do feel this is a tragic, a very, very tragic situation; and we do feel the pain of the parents of that little boy.”

The problem was that Munoz fled the scene.

She’s now confessed to a third-degree felony, meaning she could face jail time or probation — the latter being more likely because of the plea deal and the fact that Munoz has no prior criminal history.

“(Munoz) has a small child at home as well. That’s where it is difficult for her; and that’s where she does understand the pain of (Barnett),” de Montreux said. “But she’s eager to get home because she’s been away from that child for two months now.”

Although Munoz is out of jail, there's a list of rules she has to follow, one of which is giving up her driver's license.

Sentencing for this case is set for March 24.



Haley Smith
    Peter Samore

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