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Woman pleads guilty to fatal hit-and-run

August 13, 2010

A Newport Beach woman faces four years behind bars after pleading guilty Friday to hitting and killing a man with her SUV, when he stepped off the curb onto Newport Boulevard at the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa.

Shana Lynne Calderon, 21, pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without a license at Santa Ana's Central Justice Center.

About 1:30 a.m. Dec. 12, Calderon was pulling up to the right-hand turn lane onto 19th Street from southbound Newport Boulevard when 29-year-old Michael McLaughlin, of New York, stepped off the curb.

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Calderon hit him, sending his body flailing into the street. She and her passenger briefly stopped and talked to witnesses before fleeing in her car.

Calderon turned herself into Costa Mesa police two hours after the crash, still under the influence of alcohol, according to police. McLaughlin died a week later at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.

When police arrested Calderon they found two hollowed-out pens on her used to ingest prescription pills. Her guilty plea was not part of a plea agreement with prosecutors or the court, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Jason Baez.

At Calderon's sentencing scheduled for Oct. 15, the judge will hear arguments from Baez, her defense attorney and family along with McLaughlin's family before handing down her sentence.

—Joseph Serna

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