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Woman accused of driving into Strip crowd, killing 1, to stand trial next year

A woman accused of driving her car onto a Strip sidewalk, killing one person and injuring dozens of others more than seven years ago, is set to go to trial next year.

Paris Morton, 32, who also has gone by the name Lakeisha Holloway, was scheduled for trial on 71 counts, including murder, last month, but District Judge Tierra Jones delayed the trial after Morton filed court documents indicating she wanted to dismiss her public defender. During a hearing on Thursday, the judge scheduled another trial for May 2024, court records show.

The judge has denied Morton’s motion to dismiss her public defender. She had entered a settlement conference last month to negotiate the case, but rejected a plea deal, according to court records.

Public defenders have previously said in court that the defendant changed her name from Lakeisha Holloway to Paris Morton, records show.

She has gone through multiple competency evaluations at a state psychiatric hospital since 2016 to determine if she is fit to stand trial. She was most recently deemed competent in March 2021.

Along with murder, Morton charges of attempted murder, battery and child abuse, in connection with the December 2015 crash in front of the Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort. Prosecutors have said she was above the legal limit for marijuana and had intentionally driven onto the crowded sidewalk, killing 32-year-old Jessica Valenzuela, of Buckeye, Arizona.

Thirty-five other people were injured during the crash, authorities have said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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