A 34-year-old Chicago woman accused of purposely running down two teens in Carpentersville with her SUV and then leaving the scene did not know she hit anyone, her defense attorney says.
Angelique Branch, of the 9400 block of South Champlain Avenue, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident, two counts each of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery in a public place.
Carpentersville police say Branch used her Lincoln Navigator to intentionally hit the teens, ages 15 and 16, at about 3:40 p.m. March 11 on the 0-99 block of Oxford Drive in the Foxview Apartment Complex. One of the boys suffered a lacerated spleen.
Defense attorney Steven Goldman said Branch did not know she injured the teens, who police also say were bullying her nephew.
"She didn't intend to strike anyone and didn't even know she struck anyone until there was a warrant for her arrest," Goldman said.
Goldman would not comment on what his client was doing in Carpentersville that day or on how Branch could not have known she hit anyone when the accident occurred in the middle of the afternoon.
Branch appeared in court on May 15 and was taken into custody after her attempt to have the arrest warrant thrown out was unsuccessful, records show.
Branch was held at Kane County jail on $150,000 bail before Goldman successfully argued that it be reduced to $20,000. She posted bond last week and is not have any contact with the two teens or their families.
"From my understanding, she has no prior criminal charges," Goldman said. "When she found out about (the warrant), she contacted me immediately."
Ironically, a woman named Timera Branch was sentenced to 34 years in prison for using her car to ram and kill a 17-year-old from Elgin in November 2009. John W. Keyes III had fought with Branch's son the night beforehand. Goldman said he was unaware of any relation between his client and Timera Branch.
Angelique Branch is next due in court on June 28.
If convicted of the most serious charge, she faces up to seven years in prison, but probation also is an option.