The 24-year-old Firebaugh woman accused of using a car to repeatedly run over and kill a Merced woman appeared briefly in Merced County Court on Thursday.
Ashley Sanders has pleaded not guilty to murder in connection with the death of Tiarra Gallashaw after investigators said she fatally struck the victim with her car. She appeared in yellow jail clothing before Judge Mark Bacciarini, who scheduled her next court appearance for Nov. 16.
Police who responded to the violence on March 19 described a chaotic scene involving a crowd up to 100 people. Officers used pepper spray on some witnesses while trying to break up a separate, unrelated fight, police said.
Ashley Sanders, 24, of Firebaugh appeared briefly in yellow jail clothing before Judge Mark Bacciarini, who scheduled her next court appearance for Nov. 16.
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Witnesses told police the feud between Sanders and Gallashaw began on Facebook months prior. A police report reviewed by the Sun-Star gave no indication of the reason for the feud.
Police said Sanders and Gallashaw fought in the street near 19th and I streets in Merced, and a crowd gathered that was large enough to block traffic. Witnesses said Sanders was injured during the fight and got up to return to her car.
She jumped the curb in a Dodge Avenger, driving onto the sidewalk before striking Gallashaw, according to investigators. Then, she backed up, running over Gallashaw again, witnesses said. She also hit at least two other cars, according to authorities.
Sanders told investigators a different version of the story in which she stopped at the intersection of 19th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way when a group of people, including Gallashaw, approached her car and began banging on it with various objects, according to the police report. They opened the driver-side door and dragged Sanders out. She said she never fought with Gallashaw, and the group of people attacked her, according to the report.
Sanders said she was just trying to get away when she ran over Gallashaw.
She remains in custody at the John Latorraca Correctional Center with bail set at $1 million, according to jail records.