A 48-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to two charges in the death of a teenage girl hit by a van last spring while walking to a friend’s house after a church program.
Robert V. Mitzel faces three years, five months to four years, six months in prison when sentenced April 8 on charges of vehicular homicide and failure to remain at the scene of a fatal accident.
Pierce County deputy prosecutor Tim Jones said he will recommend the low end of the range because Mitzel pleaded guilty as charged and has accepted responsibility for the girl’s death.
Kelsey Parrett, 15, of Auburn was struck about 9 p.m. April 28 as she and a friend walked along 15th Avenue near Juniper Street in Milton . She was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center but died the next day. Her friend was not hurt.
Mitzel initially stopped after hitting Parrett but then drove a block or two to his home to park his van before returning to the scene on foot, court records show.
Milton police reported Mitzel smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and his eyes watery when they interviewed him that night.
Jones declined to comment Monday on the defendant’s blood-alcohol level, which was determined from blood drawn from Mitzel the night of his arrest. Jones said he might bring it up at sentencing.
Mitzel admitted to stopping at a bar after work but said he had only one drink, the records show.
Parrett was a ninth grader at Fife’s Columbia Junior High School.