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Woman Pleads No Contest in DUI Crash Involving Pedestrian in Santa Maria

A woman arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol after she ran down a pedestrian in Santa Maria last spring pleaded no contest Wednesday. 

Crying while sitting next to her attorney, Andrew Jennings, for the brief hearing, Renee Michelle Castro, 44, accepted the plea deal in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Specifically, Castro pleaded no contest to driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. She also admitted the special allegation of causing great bodily injury.

Officers and Santa Maria firefighters responded shortly after 4:30 p.m. April 9 to the Santa Maria Town Center East parking lot, and found a woman trapped underneath a 2007 Toyota passenger vehicle, police said.

Firefighters were able to free the victim, whose name was not released, and she was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center.

Castro initially was arrested on felony DUI charges and possession of methamphetamine and illegal paraphernalia, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Under the deal, Castro will be sentenced to two years in state prison, and is expected to served 85 percent of that time.

After confirming the defendant's plea, Judge Gustavo Lavayen set Jan. 4 for Castro’s sentencing.

She remains in Santa Barbara County Jail custody.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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