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Woman pleads guilty in hit-and-run death

Faces 25 year sentence

(Published Sept. 19, 2007, 1:24 p.m.)

A Lake Geneva woman whose car struck a 6-year-old girl on a bicycle pleaded guilty a week ago to hit-and-run causing death.

Teresa Varela-Merino, 29, of 1016 Grant St., ran into her brother's apartment after striking the girl May 28 in the parking lot of his apartment complex on the 1300 block of Elkhorn Road in Lake Geneva, according to court records.

Witnesses pointed to the apartment where she ran, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing.
The 6-year-old, Lexlin Duran Ortiz, sustained serious head injuries and was pronounced dead later that evening at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn.

Varela-Merino will be sentenced Nov. 29. Maximum penalties for the charge could be 25 years in custody and fines up to $100,000.

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