Does shocking video of car hitting pedestrian prove intent to kill?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Jurors are now deliberating whether a Fresno woman was trying to commit murder when she slammed her car into another woman.

Monique Cooper's crime is clear as day in surveillance video, but exactly what crime it was will be up to the jury.

Both sides in Monique Cooper's attempted murder trial agree the video from a southwest Fresno parking lot is shocking.

They disagree over whether it proves Cooper intended to kill the woman she ran down shortly after a shouting match.

"It's undisputed that on May 3, 2019, the defendant hit Latoya Crama with her car," said prosecutor Prathna Metha. "And based on the evidence presented, at the time she hit Latoya Crama with her car, she did want to kill her."

Cooper says she's horrified by the video and she admits to hitting Crama intentionally.

But her attorney argued she's consistently denied an intent to kill.

"She didn't want to kill her," said defense attorney Gerald Schwab. "She wanted to bump her, injure her, or hit her, but not kill her."

Schwab said Cooper made a "rash, stupid, 23-year-old decision", which would point to attempted manslaughter instead of attempted murder.

Nobody knows quite how fast Cooper got the car going across three parking spaces, but Schwab argued that Crama only suffering a broken toe is evidence of Cooper's lack of murderous intent.

But prosecutors argue he's downplaying the injuries too.

"She was in and out of consciousness," Mehta said. "She was in the hospital for a number of days. By the grace of God, in her own words, she didn't sustain any more injuries."

Jurors just got the case for deliberations late Wednesday afternoon and they'll be back Thursday morning.

Cooper faces a life sentence if she's convicted of attempted murder, but a lot less time if jurors don't believe she had the intent to kill.
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