Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2014

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Driver, 16, pleads guilty in death of Henderson teen

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Olivia Brandise "Lynn" Hyten

The teenager driving the truck Coronado High School sophomore Olivia Brandise Hyten, 15, was riding in when she died in a crash Nov. 14 pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter during a hearing in Juvenile Court today.

He also pleaded guilty to aggressive driving which caused substantial bodily harm to another teen, Stephen Lubaway, who was riding in the vehicle.

The driver, David Jensen, 16, in December had denied the charges brought against him — the Juvenile Court alternate to pleading not guilty. Today, he stood calmly, dressed in blue and gray, as Family Court Judge William Voy read some of the details of the case. Jensen agreed he was guilty in each instance.

Jensen agreed he was neglectful, driving 62 mph in a 25 mph zone, and that his neglect resulted in Brandise Hyten's death and Lubaway's injuries, which included a fractured vertebrae and internal bleeding.

The crash occurred just before midnight Nov. 14 on Grand Hills Drive near Villa Barolo in the Seven Hills community.

Despite the pleas of Jensen's attorney, William Terry, Voy required Jensen to stay in juvenile detention until his sentencing Feb. 5.

"We've lost one child already, and Stephen, those will be long-lasting injuries," Voy said. "I don't want to lose a third. … This is a process of atonement, and I strongly believe in that process. He needs to stay here."

For the first time since the death of Brandise Hyten, members of her family shared smiles and laughter after the hearing. Brandise Hyten's mother, Teresa Brandise, had initially been upset by the thought she would not be able to speak for her daughter, but Voy assured her she would be allowed to express herself at the sentencing.

Voy discussed the sentencing options with Jensen, including being transferred to the state and released on parole, attending a youth camp and then probation or straight to probation. The parole or probation could last until Jensen's 21st birthday, and he may lose his driving privileges for that period as well, Voy said.

Frances Vanderploeg can be reached at 990-2660 or [email protected].

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