GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A Gwinnett County judge has denied bond for the woman accused over running over her toddler granddaughter in front of her home Tuesday afternoon.
Police said Wednesday, the child’s grandmother, Gilma J. Ordonez-Guevara, 44, was the driver of the vehicle that killed 23-month-old Valeria Leiba. Investigators said Ordonez-Guevara backed over the toddler.
Ordonez-Guevara appeared in court Thursday morning. The judge believes she's a flight risk, and denied bond. She's due back in court March 31.
The accident happened shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of Memory Lane near Lawrenceville. Gwinnett County police said the nearly 2-year-old girl was rushed to Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, where she was later pronounced dead from her injuries.
Initially, police said, Ordonez-Guevara denied being involved in the crash, but later recanted her story after police secured a search warrant and found conflicting evidence inside her vehicle.
Police said Ordonez-Guevara lived at another house in the same neighborhood as the child. During a second interview, Ordonez-Guevara admitted to officers she accidentally struck the toddler as she was backing out of the driveway. She told police she did not know the child was behind her SUV.
After the crash, police said Ordonez-Guevara carried the child inside the home and then drove back to her house. She left her vehicle there and walked back to the scene, police said.
The family told FOX 5 News the grandmother did not realize she had hit the child when she left the scene. They said the grandmother is in the U.S. legally, but they fear she may be deported for driving without a license. Unable to afford an attorney, the family said they are raising money to pay for expenses, including the child’s funeral.
Ordonez-Guevara was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of vehicular homicide, hit and run, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and driving without a license. She also faces an immigration hold, according to jail records.
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