Man who struck KCK woman during police chase accepts plea deal - KCTV5

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Man who fatally hit KCK woman during police chase accepts plea deal

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Christopher Bradley Stewart Christopher Bradley Stewart
Her family says Graciela Olivas was a beautiful person inside and out and they've appreciated all the outpouring of support. Her family says Graciela Olivas was a beautiful person inside and out and they've appreciated all the outpouring of support.
Christopher Bradley Stewart in court on Friday. Christopher Bradley Stewart in court on Friday.
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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

The man who fatally struck a KCK woman while fleeing from police has accepted a plea deal.

Christopher Bradley Stewart of KCK was in court Friday.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman charged him back in February with first-degree murder. Stewart also faced charges of fleeing and interfering with law enforcement.

Friday in Wyandotte County District his plea deal reduced those charges to one count of second-degree murder and one count of eluding police.

It took some negotiating between the defense and the prosecutor's office, but both sides ultimately thought that Friday's decision was the best for closure.

"He didn't want to have a trial in this, he didn't want to put the victim's family through that. He was ready to take responsibility today," said Josh Allen, Stewart's defense attorney.

On Feb. 17 Stewart struck a car being driven by Graciela Olivas at the intersection of 34th Street and Shawnee Drive. She died hours later. She was the mother of former KCTV5 reporter Sandra Olivas, two sons who are area firefighters and a second daughter, who is a nursing student.

The district attorney said his original charge was decided because Stewart committed a felony by fleeing from police, who attempted to stop him for committing traffic violations after leaving an area known for its drug activity.

Stewart's decision avoids what may have been a lengthy trail for, not only himself, but also the family of Graciela Olivas.

His defense attorney said Stewart knew what he was potentially facing with a first-degree murder charge.

"He would be required to serve 20 years, flat, before being eligible to request parole. Because of that, just on that count alone, count one alone, he was looking at 20-to-life. But what needs to be understood is that it was a life sentence and there was no guarantee he would be released after 20 years," Allen said. "(Now) taking the life sentence off the table, but agreeing to the sentences we did on the different counts and cases, then he'll end up having to serve approximately 18 years is what he'd have to walk down."

Her family says Graciela Olivas was a beautiful person inside and out and they've appreciated all the outpouring of support.

Stewart will be sentenced on Aug. 20 at 9 a.m.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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