Murder trial under way for woman who ran over friend on Tacoma street

Staff writerJune 5, 2013 

There’s little doubt Denise Larkins used her Chevrolet Tahoe to run over her friend Michelle Johnson on a Tacoma street 18 months ago.

The question for a Pierce County jury is whether Larkins knew what she was doing the evening of Dec. 16, 2011.

Prosecutors contend she did, following Johnson as she walked down the street then accelerating and running her down when she stepped into the intersection of South J and 43rd streets.

Larkins’ defense attorney claims otherwise. The 35-year-old Tukwila woman was so “flooded with terror and confusion” that day she could not form the intent to hurt her friend, the defense attorney contends.

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