FARGO — A woman accused of running over a local chef in downtown Fargo in 2018 says she intends to go to trial.
Pryscilla Shantyl Littleswallow, 32, turned herself in Tuesday, Sept. 1, and appeared in Cass County District Court on Wednesday. Her bond of $10,000 was reinstated after being revoked in July.
She faces a misdemeanor charge of aggravated reckless driving after allegedly running over Joe Swegarden, a local chef, at about 2 a.m. Aug. 12, 2018, at Sixth Avenue North and Roberts Street, leaving him with a severe brain injury.
Littleswallow initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was later scheduled to change her plea. Now, she says, she’s going to trial.
“I would like to get my story out there so people have a little bit more of a better understanding. It’s not what it was put out there to be. That’s all I can say. And hopefully trial will bring the bullet out,” Littleswallow told The Forum as she held her young daughter in her arms. “It’s under oath so they will have to tell the truth."
Littleswallow’s attorney, Mark Beauchene, told her not to talk further, and he declined to comment.
Littleswallow failed to appear at an earlier hearing where she was expected to change her not guilty plea. At that time, District Judge John Irby issued a bench warrant for her arrest, but the warrant was withdrawn on Tuesday, under the condition that she keeps in contact with her bail bondsman.
“She had a bench warrant outstanding for a long time and she appeared on her own yesterday,” Beauchene said in court. “She called me a couple of times before she appeared on the bench warrant.”
District Judge Tristan Van de Streek, who was filling in for Irby on Wednesday, scheduled Littleswallow's next hearing for Oct. 1.
According to court documents, witnesses told authorities that Littleswallow accelerated her vehicle and struck Swegarden, "causing him to fall and go under the vehicle. Witnesses stated the driver reversed over Joe, got out of her vehicle and looked at Joe on the ground. Multiple witnesses stated the suspect said ‘It’s not my fault,’ then got back into her vehicle and fled."
Later, Littleswallow told police that she left because she was "scared of all the people yelling at her," according to court documents. Detectives performed sobriety tests, and Littleswallow did not show any signs of impairment, court documents stated.