HAYWARD Oakland's Laura Danielle Medina pleaded no contest today to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Manteca resident Michelle Dickerson and will be sentenced to 11 years in prison on Feb. 26.
"She was offered a deal sometime last week," Medina's mother, Laura Rangel, said in a phone interview.
"She's scared she would end up spending the rest of her life in prison," Rangel added, noting that she had always wanted the case to go trial but respects her daughter's decision.
"...The more I think about it, she never had a chance from day one," Rangel said.
Rangel has maintained a Myspace profile in support of her daughter, who, she said, was convicted by media stories and by public statements before the trial from Deputy District Attorney Butch Ford, who called Medina a murderer.
Rangel said she wanted the case to go to trial so that Dickerson's family would know the truth about the Manteca woman.
"Despite what they must think of her, of what they must have been told, If they could have heard her tell her story, they would understand my daughter is not a killer, not a murderer," she said. "I know my daughter was ready to testify."
Prosecutor Ford has said he believes Medina went into a jealous rage after seeing her ex-boyfriend in the car with Dickerson. A chase ensued, which ended in Castro Valley with Medina ramming her car into her ex-boyfriend's vehicle. Medina said they were just playing around and she never meant for anyone to get hurt.