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Woman Is Held After Deadly Car Chase Blamed on Jealousy

The Oakland driver, 21, pursued and rammed a vehicle carrying her ex-boyfriend, causing the death of his new girlfriend, police say.

June 25, 2004|From Associated Press

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. — An Oakland woman has been arrested in connection with the death of her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend, who was killed in a car chase apparently sparked by jealous rage.

The deadly chain of events began Tuesday night when Laura Medina, 21, spotted her ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend, Michelle Dickerson, in a Chevrolet Cavalier outside a McDonald's in East Oakland, police said.

Medina and three friends jumped into their Buick Park Avenue and chased the Chevrolet onto Interstate 580, ramming the car a dozen times as they raced east at speeds reaching 90 mph.

The chase ended on the streets of Castro Valley when Medina, the driver, smashed into the Cavalier one last time. The Cavalier spun out of control and crashed into a row of parked cars.

Dickerson, 18, of Manteca, died of head injuries at 7:44 p.m. Tuesday at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

Dickerson, who was sitting in the back seat with her boyfriend, was one of four passengers inside her stepfather's car, said police, who didn't release the identities of the boyfriend or two other passengers.

Moments after the Cavalier crashed, Medina wrecked her own car, then fled on foot. Her friends were arrested near the scene but will not face charges, police said.

Investigators later learned Medina's identity and persuaded her to surrender Wednesday afternoon.

Medina, a receptionist and mother of a 6-year-old boy, was arrested on suspicion of murder and booked into Santa Rita Jail. Medina had broken up with her boyfriend a few days earlier, investigators said.

"We believe it was an intentional criminal act," said Sgt. Scott Dudek of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. "Obviously, she intended to hurt someone in the car."

Medina is expected to be arraigned Friday at the Hayward Hall of Justice. Her attorney, Fred Remer, said his client didn't intend to harm or kill anyone. He said the Cavalier lost control after hitting a speed bump.

Dickerson's family told the San Francisco Chronicle that they were struggling with the senselessness of her death.

"It's just a waste of a life over something stupid as jealousy or rage or whatever," said Dickerson's stepfather, Bruce Babcock. "It's inexcusable. Bad decisions were made."

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