By Joe Beck
A 19-year-old Stephens City woman pleaded guilty Thursday in Frederick County Circuit Court to involuntary manslaughter, a felony offense stemming from a crash in which a passenger in her car died.
Kaila Marcy Neal faces up to 10 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 8 in circuit court.
In return for the guilty plea, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Andrew M. Robbins agreed to drop a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, according to court documents.
The accident in the 600 block of Town Run Lane on June 14, 2012 took the life of Saundra Papson, 18, also of Stephens City. Police cited the high speed at which Neal was driving her 2002 Saturn as a factor in the accident.
A medical examiner's report listed the cause of Papson's death as blunt trauma to the head.
Police said Papson was riding in the front seat and a 16-year-old girl was in the back seat as Neal's Saturn traveled southbound over a hillcrest at about 10:30 a.m.
Neal swerved right to avoid a northbound vehicle approaching from the other side of the hill, according to authorities. The Saturn ran off the right side of the road. Neal over-corrected and lost control, causing the Saturn to flip and come to a rest on its passenger side, police said.
Papson died of her injuries at Winchester Medical Center. Neal and the 16-year-old girl were also treated for injuries at the hospital.
Neal remains free on bail until the sentencing hearing under terms of the plea agreement.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org