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Little given prison time for traffic fatality

BULLHEAD CITY – A Bullhead City woman responsible for a traffic fatality will go to prison for 1.25 years under terms of a plea agreement entered June 14 in what the prosecutor called a distracted driver case. Lizet Little, 36, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, reduced from manslaughter.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney James Schoppmann told Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen that Little has no prior criminal history and had no drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of the Nov. 27, 2023 crash at the Highway 95 and Corwin Road intersection. He said investigators estimate the Chevrolet Traverse Little was operating was speeding 48 to 60 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone when she slammed into the back of a motorcycle properly stopped at the red light.

Schoppmann said the motorcycle rider Michael Vasconcellos, 60, Bullhead City, suffered devastating injuries and was killed instantly when struck and launched off his motorcycle to the pavement.

Schoppmann said Little claims she was distracted when changing music on the “info-tainment system” in her vehicle. Defense attorney Bob Heieck said she was unsuccessful in her last-second attempt to swerve and avoid the ensuing collision.

Schoppmann credited members of the victim’s family for their compassion in supporting the 15-month long prison punishment, rather than pushing for additional incarceration. He said several of them may speak at Little’s July 12 sentencing hearing. Dave Hawkins