Woman video chatting inmate while driving charged with hit and run
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AMMON — Deputies say a woman video chatting with a man in jail while behind the wheel hit a teenager in Ammon.
The hit and run occurred on Oct. 31 just before 10 p.m. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office arrived at North Ammon Road and Ruby Circle and found a teenager with a fractured arm. Initial reports indicate witnesses saw a dark SUV with a missing headlight hit the teenager before driving away.
The driver of the SUV, according to deputies, was 27-year-old Kelcei C. Llamas. She is now charged with felony leaving the scene of a crash.
Deputies got video footage from a nearby store a few days later and discovered the SUV was a dark-colored Chevrolet Tahoe. A photo of the SUV went onto the local Crimestoppers page, quickly leading investigators to Llamas’ home. Llamas denied ever leaving her home the night of the hit and run, but investigators noted damage to the SUV consistent with hitting the victim.
Investigators impounded the car and discovered another deputy had stopped the same SUV in August and arrested a man for felony meth trafficking. The deputy turned the SUV over to Llamas and none of the damage was on the vehicle at that time.
With the information, deputies got a search warrant for Llamas’ cell phone data, which shows she was out of the house at the time of the crash. Deputies also discovered Llamas got calls from the man who was in the Bonneville County Jail for meth trafficking the night of the crash.
About two minutes before dispatch heard about the hit and run, a recorded video call between the inmate and Llamas’ gave telling details about what possibly happened in October.
“Kelcei is heard gasping and a loud audible impact is heard,” a deputy writes in a report. Kelcei then states ‘there was somebody on the side on a bike and I almost hit them because I didn’t see them.'”
In the video, deputies say Llamas is seen looking down at her phone and not paying attention to the road when the crash happened.
On Friday, deputies arrived at Llamas’ house and took her into custody. She was booked on the felony charge and cited for inattentive or careless driving. She posted $25,000 bond and was released.
A preliminary hearing for Llamas is scheduled for Dec. 29.
Although Llamas is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean she committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.