No bail for suspect in deadly New Bedford hit-and-run

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The person accused of running through a stop sign and causing a deadly crash in March will continue to be held without bail.

James Bennett-Werra, 21, pleaded not guilty to several charges including manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation during her arraignment in Fall River Superior Court Monday morning. A grand jury returned an indictment June 27.

Police said Bennett-Werra – a transgender female who also goes by the name Jannaya Love – caused the March 27 crash that killed Janet Murphy, 68, and sent her 39-year-old son to the hospital. State police said Bennett-Werra was fleeing from a Fairhaven detective when she ran a stop sign and crashed into Murphy’s Toyota Corrolla.

Bennett-Werra, according to police, took off from the scene and was arrested a few days later in Pawtucket.

Police said Bennett-Werra had active warrants out for her arrest at the time of the deadly crash and cut off her GPS monitoring bracelet just two days before.

During the arraignment, the defense attorney asked that Bennett-Werra continue to be housed with inmates who have the same gender identity.

Bennett-Werra’s next court date is set for Oct. 8.

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