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No felony charges in teen's fatal hit-and-run

November 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The 18-year-old woman arrested in the fatal hit-and-run of a Notre Dame High School student faced a judge Tuesday.Moran Biton is accused of hitting and killing 16-year-old Conor Lynch in Sherman Oaks. Biton was charged with two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and driving without a license. She did not enter a plea.

Lynch and three other members of the school's cross-country running team were finishing a workout on Oct. 19 when a sport utility vehicle allegedly driven by Biton struck him in a crosswalk.

After hitting the victim, Biton allegedly drove four blocks before pulling over next to a police car that was in the area on another call. She reportedly told police, "I think I hit someone."

Charges against Biton have been reduced from felony to misdemeanor because the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office decided not to seek felony charges against Biton since she pulled over.

Biton, who remains out of jail after posting a $50,000 bail, stood close to her attorneys as they spoke out.

"This was an accident, it was a tragedy," said defense attorney Manny Medrano. "There was no one at fault. Our client was stunned when it happened. She immediately went to the police."

Family and friends of the victim maintain Biton is anything but innocent.

"Four blocks, four inches, four feet. It doesn't matterm," said Elizabeth O'Connell, a Lynch family friend. "It's unforgiveable."

"I think the most important thing is to always remember Conor," said Donnell Dye-Juelsson, Lynch's aunt. "Whatever happens here, he was the most amazing child and he will be missed."

Biton is due back in court in the next couple of weeks for arraignment.