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Plea deal reached for woman accused in 2022 hit and run that killed IU student

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — A plea agreement has been reached in the case against a woman accused in the 2022 hit and run that killed an IU student who was riding an e-scooter.

Per the agreement, Madelyn Howard pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, a level 3 felony, and one of the two counts of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a level 4 felony. In exchange, the state agrees to dismiss the remaining charges, which was another count of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a level 4 felony, and reckless homicide, a level 5 felony.

Indiana sentencing guidelines for level 3 felonies are between 3 and 16 years and level 4 felonies between 2 and 12 years.

Online court records show a sentencing hearing is set for May 6, and is expected to last all day.

Howard was originally set to stand trial at the end of February for the death of Nathaniel Stratton, but was cancelled just days before the trial after Howard expressed interest in taking a plea deal.

As IUSTV News previously reported, on Sept. 18, 2022, police responded to a report of an accident with injury at the intersection of Walnut and 12th Streets. Police say Howard had been driving with a male passenger in the car when she hit Stratton, who was riding an electric scooter, and then fled the scene.  

Howard was later found at the intersection of Lincoln and 19th, where police say her car showed evidence of damage, along with a heavily damaged scooter nearby, which bystanders helped her to free from dragging underneath her car. 

Stratton was transported to IU Bloomington Health Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead from his injuries. He was a junior in the Kelley School of Business studying entrepreneurship.