Trial set for Iowa woman accused of bias-motivated hit-and-run – St. Paul Pioneer Press

Posted: December 26, 2019 at 10:48 am


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DES MOINES, Iowa A trial has been scheduled for an Iowa woman accused of hate crimes in the Des Moines area, including intentionally running over a girl she thought was Mexican.

Nicole Marie Poole is charged with assault in violation of individual rights in connection with an incident at a convenience store and is scheduled to go on trial Feb. 3 in Des Moines. Court documents indicate she also goes by the name of Nicole Franklin.

She remains in custody, pending $1 million cash bail.

Poole went to a convenience store Dec. 9 where she threw items at a clerk and directed racial epithets at him and customers, West Des Moines police said in a court document. She also was charged with operating under the influence, second offense. Poole has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Her attorney didnt immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.

Police have said Poole went to the store after a hit-and-run in the Des Moines suburb of Clive. Authorities said she drove her SUV onto a sidewalk there to hit 14-year-old Natalia Miranda. The girl was hospitalized for two days.

Clive Police Chief Michael Venema has said Poole told officers she targeted Miranda because the girl is Mexican.

A preliminary hearing in that case is scheduled for Monday.

Poole also is charged with attempted murder for driving over a Des Moines curb on the same day to hit a 12-year-old boy, the records said.

Des Moines police spokesman Paul Parizek told The Des Moines Register the boy is black and said that looking at the other two incidents, the hate-filled motivation is apparent.

The collective voice of metro law enforcement, and the communities we serve, is sending the message that if you commit biased-based crimes, we will charge you with the most serious offense applicable, with the most severe consequences, Parizek said. In this case, that charge is attempted murder.

After the first charges were announced Sunday, Domingo Garcia, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, called for a hate crime charge against Poole in the attack on Miranda.

Joe Henry, president of the groups Des Moines branch, echoed Garcias call and told the Register it would be wrong if Poole were not charged with a hate crime.

It would give the green light to anybody to do this type of terrible thing, Henry said.

But Polk County Attorney John Sarcone told the newspaper that a hate crime charge against Poole in the hit-and-run wouldnt necessarily achieve the justice the community is demanding.

I cant specifically talk about her case, Sarcone said. All I can say is attempted murder is a Class B felony. Thats a 25-year sentence 17.5 are mandatory. Its five times any sentence you would get on a hate crime.

Sarcone said that under Iowa law, a hate crime charge enhances other charges, such as arson and assault, but wouldnt apply to attempted murder.

It may sound nice, but it doesnt help anything, Sarcone said. When its appropriate to enhance, well do it.

He didnt immediately return an AP call on Tuesday.

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Trial set for Iowa woman accused of bias-motivated hit-and-run - St. Paul Pioneer Press

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December 26th, 2019 at 10:48 am

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