LANCASTER – A local elementary school principal pleaded not guilty Monday to driving drunk and killing a woman in a head-on crash in Palmdale last year.
Mary Noel Kruppe, 36, of Pearblossom is being held in lieu of $2 million bail on a murder charge stemming from the death of 29-year-old Lancaster resident Jessica Ordaz.
The fatal crash happened around 6:50 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15, on 50th Street East north of Avenue P in Palmdale. Kruppe was behind the wheel of a 2014 Jeep Wrangler that was traveling southbound on 50th Street East when it veered left into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a 2010 Mazda driven by Ordaz, authorities said.
Ordaz was pronounced dead at the scene, and Kruppe, a principal at Enterprise Elementary School in Lancaster, was taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.
After pleading not guilty to murder, Kruppe was ordered to return to court on June 3, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
If convicted as charged, Kruppe could face up to 15 years to life in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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