Woman pleads guilty to Breckenridge hit-and-run charges
Hallie Schmitt, 25, pleaded guilty in Summit County District Court on April 7 to charges stemming from a December 2014 hit-and-run that left the victim in the hospital and with permanent injury.
Schmitt specifically admitted to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, which carries with it a potential punishment of 6 years in prison. She had maintained her innocence in previous hearing and had rejected a plea bargain last May.
On Dec. 26, 2014 at approximately 11:22 p.m., the victim, the then-23-year-old Lauren Hamilton, was walking home alone on Airport Road when she was hit by Schmitt, who fled the scene.
A snowplow driver reportedly found Hamilton that night, partly on Airport Road and partly in a snow bank, before Red, White and Blue Fire Rescue was called to the scene at 11:25 p.m. She suffered a fractured vertebrae, a fractured femur, a large gash on her leg and a major concussion.
During a crime scene investigation, detective Alex Blank determined debris found near the accident likely came from the bumper of a Toyota 4Runner.
Within a few days, the detective observed Schmitt driving a 2003 Toyota 4-Runner with front end damage that, like a missing puzzle piece, was matched to the bumper debris found at the crime scene. The detective stopped the defendant who claimed that, although she had been in the area of Breckenridge the night of the accident, she had no memory of the manner in which her bumper had been damaged and disputed any involvement in the accident that left the victim lying on the road.
“After today’s plea hearing, a young woman tragically injured and essentially left for dead conclusively resolves the question of, ‘who would do this to me?’” said District Attorney Bruce Brown. “Top notch work by Breckenridge Police Department officers and detectives — putting together physical evidence and linking it to the defendant — enables us to put a period on the guilt portion of this case.”
A sentencing hearing is set for 10 a.m. on July 11 in district court.
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