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Woman charged in toddler’s death makes court appearance

SHARE Woman charged in toddler’s death makes court appearance

ROOSEVELT — A 33-year-old woman charged with second-degree felony manslaughter in the death of a toddler made her initial appearance Thursday in 8th District Court.

Nicole Annette Rodrigues is also charged with misdemeanor counts of failure to remain at the scene of an accident that resulted in a death and allowing an unlicensed person to drive.

According to police and prosecutors, Rodrigues allowed her 14-year-old daughter to drive the family's new SUV on May 15. The teenager hit and killed 22-month-old Franchesca Isabel Montes, according to court records, as she pulled forward out of the driveway of the little girl's home.

Police said Rodrigues left her daughter with the dying toddler and fled the scene.

Montes was taken to Uintah Basin Medical Center by family members. She died at the hospital.

Rodrigues, who is also facing an unrelated felony drug charge following an April 29 arrest, is due back in court on July 10 to determine whether she has retained an attorney or will need one appointed to represent her.

Prosecutors have charged Rodrigues' daughter, whom they are not identifying because of her age, with manslaughter and operating a vehicle as an underage person. The girl is due to be arraigned in juvenile court on June 18.

E-mail: geoff@ubstandard.com