Woman Found Guilty of Manslaughter In Fatal Hit-And-Run

A Maryland woman who struck and killed a 24-year-old woman with her car and then continued driving home was found guilty of manslaughter Wednesday. 

Jorida Davidson, 31, of Chevy Chase, was driving on Connecticut Avenue when she struck Kiela Marie Ryan near Dupont Circle and then kept driving in 2010. Davidson made no attempt to brake or sound her horn, police said.

Ryan was getting out her car when she was struck. She had been celebrating her birthday.

A bicyclist took down the license plate number and called police, who found Davidson asleep behind the wheel at her condo on North Park Avenue. She refused to take a breath test, and the prosecution contended that she was drunk.

Davidson was convicted of lesser charges related to the hit-and-run in 2011, including negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the voluntary manslaughter charge at that time, which led led to a retrial this month.

During the 2011 trial, the defense said that Davidson, an Albanian immigrant in the country on a green card, suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome caused by her childhood in Albania and the death of her parents when she was young. She fell asleep behind the wheel because sometimes she considered sleep a “safe place,” the defense said.

Davidson was sentenced to a total of three years and nine months in prison in 2011 and she is now serving that time.

She will be sentenced for the manslaughter charge in September.

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