Hit-and-run subject pleads no contest | TheUnion.com

Hit-and-run subject pleads no contest

A Grass Valley woman who pleaded no contest to a felony count of failure to perform one’s duty following a hit-and-run accident causing death will be sentenced in the new year, authorities said.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin on Jan. 10 will review potential sentencing options provided by the defense attorney and prosecutor in the case against Madison Hannah Felhaber, 18.

According to Officer Mike Steele with the California Highway Patrol, Felhaber collided with 15-year-old skateboarder Paisley Makonen-Woodard while driving south on Alta Street, at Dolores Drive, at 4:25 a.m. Oct 30.

“It came over as a failure to perform duty following an accident causing death or injury, and that’s the way we charged it,” District Attorney Jesse Wilson said.

Wilson said Felhaber pleaded no contest to the felony, which has “a sentencing triad” — either two, three or four years in a state penitentiary.

Wilson said depending on the defense, the judge may decide to give Felhaber a lesser, probationary sentence, or the option of lesser time served in the county jail. Public Defender Keri Klein will represent Felhaber at her Jan. 10 pre-sentencing hearing.

Klein couldn’t be reached for comment on Thursday.

“The court will receive a report from both sides, and the judge will be able to choose from the two options,” Wilson said, adding, “one being on my side, one being on her side.”

Felhaber initially fled the scene, officers reported, but turned herself in later that afternoon.

Felhaber was held under $100,000 bond until a Nevada County Superior Court judge released her days later on her own recognizance, with restrictions.

“This is a tragedy that took place,” Wilson said. “The charges filed and plea were consistent with the charge from CHP. Our thoughts are to the young life lost, and to their friends and family.”

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com

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