Woman charged in boy's death

May 18, 1991

A 33-year-old Prince George's County woman who was arrested last Sunday after she allegedly ran down two bicyclists with her car was charged with murder yesterday after one of her victims, a 10-year-old boy, died from his injuries.

Dewayne L. Hawkins, a Capitol Heights resident, died at 11:20 a.m. after five days in the intensive care unit at Children's National Medical Center in Washington. He was being treated for head and leg injuries he sustained in the crash, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Within hours of his death, state police charged Kathlynn Ann Najera of the 1200 block of Patriot Lane in Bowie with first-degree murder. She was being held last night in the Prince George's County Detention Center without bail.

Ms. Najera allegedly ran down 47-year-old Richard J. Marek of Upper Marlboro at about 3 p.m. and the boy a few minutes later. Both had been cycling along the shoulder of southbound U.S. 301 near Upper Marlboro.

Police arrested Ms. Najera soon afterward within a few miles of where the second cyclist was struck. In addition to the murder charge, she was charged with assault with intent to murder and assault and battery for running down Mr. Marek.

If convicted of murder, she could be eligible for a death sentence or a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole, police said.

Evidence in the case includes a videotape taken by a witness to the second collision.

Earlier this week, a Prince George's County judge ordered Ms. Najera to undergo psychiatric evaluation to see if she is competent to stand trial.

According to a family member, Ms. Najera has a history of mental illness and was a recent patient at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington.

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