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Trial set for Fallbrook woman accused of killing 86-year-old Menifee resident with SUV

 

Last updated 2/15/2014 at Noon



A June 3 trial date was confirmed today for a woman accused of killing an 86-year-old Menifee resident while racing through an intersection drunk at the wheel of her SUV.

Melissa Danae Dean-Baumann, 39, of Fallbrook could face 20 years to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder, DUI gross vehicular manslaughter, child endangerment, DUI with injuries and sentence-enhancing allegations of inflicting great bodily injury on a person over 70 years old.

Dean-Baumann appeared with her attorney before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez for a status conference at the Riverside Hall of Justice. After the prosecution and defense indicated they would be prepared to move forward, Hernandez scheduled trial to begin the first week of June.

However, an intervening hearing is set for March 24 to verify both sides are on track.

Dean-Baumann remains free on a $500,000 bond.

She's accused of killing Phyllis Fleming and seriously injuring the woman's husband, Donald Fleming, in a Dec. 13, 2012, crash at the intersection of McCall Boulevard and Encanto Drive in Menifee.

According to sheriff's investigators, the defendant was driving her Chevrolet SUV westbound on McCall at a high rate of speed about 12:30 p.m. and became distracted by her 3-year-old child in the rear seat.

Dean-Baumann failed to see the red light at McCall and continued into the intersection.

About that time, Donald Fleming initiated a left-turn from eastbound McCall to head north on Encanto, investigators said. The victim was turning on a green arrow.

The SUV collided with the passenger side of the Saturn, fatally injuring Phyllis Fleming, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The woman's husband was hospitalized with major injuries, from which he has mostly recovered, prosecutors said.

Dean-Baumann was treated for moderate injuries. Her child, strapped in a safety seat, was not hurt.

 

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