Teen Driver Enters Plea In Motor Vehicle Homicide Case

The Sarpy County teenager charged with misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide appeared in juvenile court Monday.

Maddie Shely, 16, was read her rights and entered a plea of denial, which is similar to a not guilty plea.

The case involves an October traffic accident at 180th and Highway 370. Shely was driving a Jeep that collided with a pickup. The front seat passenger in her vehicle, 15-year-old Nate LaFave, was killed in the crash. The other passenger, 15-year-old Carly Anne Kelly was critically injured. Shely was also critically injured.

Investigators said Shely failed to yield to two vehicles that had the right of way.

Her family issued a statement in December saying, "This was an instance of an inexperienced driver trying to negotiate an intersection near rush hour that the State of Nebraska has deemed dangerous and in need of additional precautions."

The Nebraska Roads Department plans to put in a traffic signal at the intersection in the fall of 2014. It will be turned on, if traffic patterns warrant.

Juvenile court is about rehabilitation, not punishment.

According to the Sarpy Juvenile County Attorney -- that could involve many things such as community service or therapy.

Attorneys from both sides will meet in private next month to negotiate.

If they come to an agreement, there would be no trial.

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