Family wants hit-and-run suspect charged with murder
Posted September 28, 2009 9:52 a.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2009 6:32 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A woman charged in a fatal hit-and-run made her first appearance in court Monday, as family members of the victim expressed outrage over the charge.
Phylicia Olivia Price, 24, of 4339 Tralee Place, Raleigh, is charged with felony hit-and-run in the wreck early Sunday that killed Whitney Monique Mangum, 21, also of Raleigh.
District Court Judge Jane Gray told Price, who is out of jail on a $50,000 secured bond, that she could face up to 30 months in prison if convicted.
The charge and potential punishment left Mangum's parents and extended family questioning why Price is out of jail and why she isn't facing a murder charge.
"My baby girl is gone. She's been murdered, and that girl is walking out of here, and that's not fair," Mangum's mother, Sharon Streets, said.
Raleigh police said that Mangum was run over on Hodge Road during a dispute with the occupants of a vehicle that Price was driving.
In 911 call released Monday afternoon, a caller tells the dispatcher that Mangum was dragged.
"I think they were about to fight, and the girl just sped off real fast, and she was still hanging on," the caller says. "They was just driving real fast, and she fell, and there's blood on the street. I know she's dead."
A search warrant returned Monday indicates blood was found in Price's vehicle and bloody fingerprints on the inside passenger window.
Another driver took Mangum to a local hospital, while Price fled the scene, police said. Officers found her vehicle about 3 miles away and arrested her.
Price's attorney Patrick Roberts said in court that his client is in "extreme shock" and that the facts of the case are not as they seem. He did not elaborate.
"My understanding is that this wasn't just a hit-and-run accident as it's been written up," Roberts said. "There's more to the story than that, and I think that as the time goes on, as the process develops, we'll understand more of what actually happened."