Woman pleads not guilty to hit and run

An Eagle Point woman pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony hit-and-run charge in connection with a fatal accident that killed a 15-year-old Medford boy in April on Riverside Avenue.

Mary Ann Shostrom, 51, appeared before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge William Purdy and entered the not-guilty plea to the single felony charge of "failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person."

Shostrom is accused of being the driver of a car that struck and killed 15-year-old Manuel Antonio-Gonzalez on April 13. Shostrom allegedly did not stop at the scene of the fatality as required by law and if found guilty could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and a face a $125,000 fine, Purdy said in court.

Shostrom requested a public defender at Friday's arraignment hearing just before entering her plea.

Shostrom remains released on her own recognizance because she had no criminal history or record of failing to appear in court. She was granted a court-appointed attorney.

After leaving the courtroom, Shostrom declined to immediately comment on her case.

"I have lots of things I'd like to say," Shostrom said. "But I still have never had an opportunity to speak with an attorney. So I'd better not say anything yet."

Police have declined to say what Antonio-Gonzalez was doing when he was hit, or why the teenager was lying partly in the road at 2 a.m. near the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Austin Street.

According to his younger brother, Juan Antonio Gonzalez Marquez, 13, he and Manuel had been hanging out together looking for fun and Manuel had been drinking, family members said. They left home after their mother confronted them about their behavior, and Manuel was upset, his younger brother said earlier.

The case was originally presented to a grand jury on April 17, but the jury declined to return an indictment against Shostrom based on available evidence.

Medford police continued their investigation and found additional information related to Shostrom's 1996 Ford Contour and presented that to the district attorney's office. In light of the new evidence, a circuit court judge signed an order allowing prosecutors to bring the case again before the grand jury, said Deputy District Attorney Ginger Greer.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

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