LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – The teen suspected in a deadly hit-and-run on New Year’s Eve told CBS4 she wasn’t behind the wheel and was at church.
Kendra Balentine, 18, is charged with leaving the scene after 16-year-old Jason Grimmer died.
The memorial for Grimmer continues to grow in Longmont. Police believe Grimmer was involved in some sort of altercation when he ran out on to Main Street and was hit by a car.
“It’s kind of affected me a lot,” Balentine told CBS4’s Ty Brennan. “They found blood under my car and the tires matched; that’s what they said.”
Speaking for the first time with her pastor by her side, Balentine said Friday she hopes to clear her name.
“I don’t want to go to jail for something I didn’t do,” she said.
Longmont police says they have evidence that shows she was behind the wheel. Balentine says she was nowhere near the scene of the crime.
“I was right here (in the church) upstairs, actually, from 9 p.m. to midnight,” she said.
Balentine and her pastor, Corey Seulean, say she was at a church get-together.
“Look at the size of the room. I mean if people were to come in, left, it’s real noticeable,” Seulean. “So it’s not 300-400 people in a room.”
Balentine’s mother showed CBS4 cellphone video which shows she was at the church, but police believe she left the party and then returned.
“I’m not that type of person to do something like this,” Balentine said. “And then to come back to church, you know? It doesn’t make sense.”
Police say the damage on her car is consistent with hitting a pedestrian, but Balentine said it’s from a previous accident when she hit a parked car.
“I know they want justice, but justice is not putting an innocent person in jail at all,” Balentine said.
Balentine is scheduled back in a Boulder County courtroom in February. She’s hopeful evidence will prove her innocence beforehand.
“I’m just trying to believe in God that the truth will come out, you know, so I’m just keeping faith,” she said.
Longmont police say they are still investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to give them a call.