City News Service

Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Carjacking, Assault

A woman accused of stealing a truck at knifepoint in South El Monte and leading deputies on a chase that ended at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens pleaded not guilty Monday to felony charges. Kelsey Woods, 26, is facing two counts of assault on a peace officer and single counts of carjacking and fleeing a pursuing peace officer.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Woods was convicted last year of leading police on a chase. She is due back in court Aug. 1, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. In the meantime, Woods remains in jail on $120,000 bail, according to sheriff's records.

Woods allegedly approached a woman with a knife last Wednesday in South El Monte and took her truck. Sheriff's deputies spotted the carjacking suspect later that day and tried to stop her, but she fled. During the ensuing chase, she allegedly drove into oncoming traffic and ran numerous red lights. Deputies were able to deploy a spike strip that flattened one of the truck's tires during the pursuit, resulting in a shower of sparks as the bare rim spun on the roadway.

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At one point, she allegedly stopped the vehicle and backed into a deputy's patrol car before fleeing again. Woods, who ultimately surrendered in the Bicycle Casino parking lot, faces up to 16 years and four months in prison if convicted as charged.

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