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Long Island woman pleads guilty in deadly van crash

April 10, 2012 3:09:22 PM PDT
A Long Island woman has admitted in court that she was high on drugs when the van she was driving jumped a curb and killed a woman mowing her front lawn.

Kayla Gerdes pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Nassau County courtroom to manslaughter, driving while high on drugs and several other crimes. A judge said he will sentence the 20-year-old Gerdes to between 3 and 9 years in state prison.

Prosecutors had sought the maximum of up to 15 years.

The judge said the guilty pleas will spare the victim's family the ordeal of a trial.

Gerdes admitted that in April 2010 her van swerved onto a lawn in Hempstead, killing 69-year-old Dr. Rebecca Twine-Wright.

Gerdes had a stolen prescription pad and over 50 painkillers when she was arrested.

Sentencing is set for July 10.

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