Iowa City vehicular homicide suspect gets new attorney, new trial date

Lalla accused of running over friend with pickup in Iowa City in June

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A Johnson County judge, after allowing a vehicular homicide suspect to get a new attorney, has moved her trial to February.

Miranda Lalla, 50, of Iowa City, was supposed to be tried on charges of vehicular homicide and operating while intoxicated next week in Johnson County District Court. But, due to her change in counsel from a public defender to an attorney with the Linn County Advocate’s Office, Lalla’s trial now is scheduled for Feb. 12, according to online court records.

She is accused of killing her friend, Pamela Gross, 44, of Iowa City, by running over her with a Dodge Ram truck on June 17 in the parking lot at 315 First St. in Iowa City.

Officers were called to the apartment complex about 7 p.m. on a report of a vehicle accident. Paramedics found Gross with fatal injuries and rushed her to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where she was pronounced dead, according to court documents.

Investigators learned that Lalla and Gross had gotten into an argument, which started as a physical fight, according to police reports. When Lalla tried to leave in her truck, Gross stood next to the driver’s side door and was knocked down because the door was still open as Lalla reversed.

Lalla, initially charged with only OWI, told police after the incident that she had been at the Jobsite bar in Iowa City that evening and drove a friend home, where they began to fight in the parking lot. Officers tested Lalla’s blood-alcohol content level at the scene at .093, but she later refused further chemical testing, according to police.

Lalla, whose trial was supposed to start Tuesday, is still being held at the Johnson County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bond.

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