Woman pleads not guilty to hit-and-run

Published 6:32 am Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tori Jersusha-Ann Ward, 20, of Dodge Center pleaded not guilty to charges of felony first-degree attempted murder-premeditated, felony second-degree attempted murder-with intent-not premeditated and felony second-degree assault-dangerous weapon-substantial bodily harm during an initial appearance on Monday in Mower County District Court.

Tori Jersusha-Ann Ward, 20

Ward was charged after a hit-and-run incident that occurred on the morning of July 19 at the intersection of Second Avenue and First Street Southeast. The victim, a 19-year-old-male, was found by police bleeding profusely on the floor of a local business. He told police he had broken up with Ward the night before and that she had been following him around for the past several hours while he was skateboarding. He said he was in the middle of the road and tried to avoid the vehicle. He estimated Ward was driving about 45 miles per hour when she intentionally struck him.

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Other witnesses identified Ward as the driver. One witness said Ward pulled to the side of the road, exited the vehicle, and poured water on the hood and wiped it off with a towel before driving away. He also said the windshield of her vehicle was damaged in the incident.

The victim was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin, where his injuries (fractured right wrist and several large lacerations) were categorized as “substantial bodily harm.”

Ward was arrested July 23 at a residence in the 800 block of West Oakland Avenue. The suspected vehicle, a 2008 Mazda 3 sedan with windshield damage, was found at an auto repair shop in Austin.

A pre-trial has been scheduled for Dec. 27.