A 26-year-old East Moline woman pleaded guilty Monday to reckless homicide in the death of Robert Moldenhauer, known as “The Can Man.”
Kristianna Y. Granada entered an open plea — meaning there is no agreement on an exact sentence — to the charge, a Class 3 felony, during a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes at the Rock Island County Justice Center.
Reckless homicide carries a prison sentence of two to five years, but she will face a two-year capped maximum sentence as part of the negotiated plea agreement. She also could be sentenced to up to 30 months of probation and/or up to six months in jail, Rock Island County State’s Attorney John McGehee said after the hearing. Prosecutors will dismiss an additional count of reckless homicide when she is sentenced May 3. Granada remains free on bond.
She was arrested March 10, 2017, following a three-month investigation into Moldenhauer's death. Moline police were called around 8 a.m. Dec. 12, 2016, to the 2600 block of 6th Avenue.
According to a factual basis read aloud by Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Gardner during Monday’s plea hearing:
Granada, who was periodically living with her mother in Moline, owned a 1999 Chevrolet Venture mini-van without operational heat or a defroster. The heat had not worked for quite some time prior to crash, and she kept the windshield clear with a de-icer spray. She ran out of the spray several days earlier.
The morning of the crash, she was preparing to take two of her children to school and had scraped a circle in the ice on the driver’s side window. After dropping off her children, she was driving in the right lane east on 6th Avenue and switched lanes prior to reaching the intersection of 6th Avenue and 26th Street.
Moldenhauer, who had a bicycle with a rear cart filled with bags of recyclable cans, was crossing the intersection when he was struck. His body hit the front of the windshield and his arm broke through the glass; he remained on the van until Granada struck a telephone pole a block away.
A witness driving behind Granada did not see any brake lights upon impact and did not think she was driving fast or was excessively speeding.
Moldenhauer, 63, was taken by ambulance to Genesis Medical Center, Silvis, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined that he died from head trauma.
Granada, who was in shock, was taken to the Moline Police Department, where she gave a full confession and was “extremely remorseful” about what happened. She was familiar with Moldenhauer and would leave cans for him, according to the factual basis.
McGehee said traffic accidents typically involved negligence and are handled in civil court. In Granada’s case, her actions “crossed the line and it became reckless conduct,” McGehee said, adding prosecutors will likely argue for prison time.
“Sometimes we don’t know exactly what we’re going to be asking for until the pre-sentence investigation is done,” he said. “Sometimes, something shows up in the PSI that we don’t know about and it sometimes does play a role in how we argue.”
He said Granada’s confession and remorse are some of the factors that played a role in prosecutors’ decision to agree to a sentencing cap of two years in prison.
Granada is represented by attorney Christine Boudro.