The Main Stream

Feb 13, 2013 6:51 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Tucson hit-and-run driver pleads not guilty

TUCSON - The woman accused of hitting and killing a 17-year-old girl last month pleaded not guilty to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury, a class three felony.

Denise Torres has been out of custody since the accident, her attorney said over the phone Wednesday.

Ruby Martinez was walking along Nebraska Street near San Joaquin Avenue on the night of January 11 when she was hit by Torres' 2002 Chevy Tahoe.

Deputies say Torres left the scene and returned about 30 minutes later. One deputy wrote in his report, "she did not know what she hit, due to the fact that she was afraid and nervous she did not stop."

Another stated that Torres' fiance urged her to return to the scene, "he explained that Denise had called him to tell him she had just hit something, but she did not know what it was. He and Denise talked about it. Denise said she has to go back because she would not be be able to live with herself if she had hit a person."

One of the responding deputies stated that the area was dark with no street lights and that Ruby was wearing dark pants and dark shirt, he said it would have been difficult to see her.

Outside of court Wednesday Torres told the media she had a statement for Ruby's family,"I'm sorry. I'm a mother of three children. I'm sorry for their loss," she said.

Arturo Martinez said Ruby's daughter has left a void in his family's life. He said their family is devastated and do not believe Torres is sorry for what she did, "truthfully, I didn't see the face of someone remorseful for what they did. She didn't act like someone who knew they did something that was wrong."

Torres is due in court again on March 15th.


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