Riley Rawlins with his sister Lauren

Riley Rawlins with his sister Lauren (who was featured in the September 2013 Advocate)

The woman charged with criminally negligent homicide after hitting and killing Lake Highlands teenager Riley Rawlins in 2011 will go to trial next month.

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Last April Riley’s mother, Monica Rawlins, told us she did not expect the case to go to trial. Defendant Soraya Villanueva, was unlicensed and uninsured and driving at twice the posted speed limit when she hit Riley as he attempted to cross the street at Audelia and Royal. (More here).

“I want a trial,” Monica Rawlins said last year after Villaneuva rejected a plea and hired an attorney, but Rawlins added that she believed that once Villanueva’s attorney saw the details, it probably would “come down to another plea bargain.”

Monica Rawlins and her husband Chris and their district attorney had an acceptable plea in mind, but it was unconventional. They wanted the defendant to spend five Christmases in jail. Not five years in jail. Just the Christmases.

Monica says she and the DA were not budging on that condition, so Villanueva has opted to go to trial. It is set for April 14.

Villanueva is a mother of two. She had one child when the accident occurred and, according to Rawlins had a baby over the summer — probably one of the reasons she does not want to accept five Christmases in jail, Rawlins notes.