Hit-and-run kills bicyclist: Amber Corrao bound over for trial

Amber Corrao appeared in Milwaukee County court on Thursday, April 28 for her preliminary hearing. Corrao is charged with hit-and-run involving death in the March 25 crash that killed a bicyclist on Milwaukee's south side.

A Milwaukee police officer testified in Corrao's preliminary hearing. The defendant then argued a motion to dismiss the case – which was denied. The judge hearing the case found there was enough evidence to bind Corrao over for trial. 

Corrao is due back on May 4 to enter a plea to the charges against her. 

Case details

According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police responded to a fatal crash at 20th and Grant in Milwaukee on Friday, March 25. Multiple 911 calls indicated a man on a bicycle was hit by a car. One caller identified the striking vehicle as a blue Jeep.

Intersection of 20th and Grant

A detective also responded to the scene -- and spoke with one 911 caller who stated he saw the bicyclist get struck by the Jeep "which kept going and perhaps even accelerated after striking the bicyclist," the complaint says.

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Officers later reviewed a pole camera from the intersection of Forest Home and Becher. The complaint says it "showed a blue Jeep Liberty turning off 20th Street onto West Becher." At roughly the same time, 911 calls began flooding in about the crash.

The complaint says the Jeep Liberty was located in Marinette County on March 30. Investigators went to check it out -- and "observed the Jeep to have damage to the front driver's side corner of the front bumper, as well as rubbing on the driver's side front bumper and blue paint on the bumper that was the same color as the bicycle involved" in the crash, the complaint says.

Officers say Amber Corrao, the defendant, came out of a home to talk to the officers and "claimed that the damage was from a previous accident. Corrao admitted, a few minutes later, that she had been driving the car, hit something and kept going. The defendant claimed she didn't know what had occurred until she saw it on the news. A few minutes later, in response to further questioning, Corrao claimed her boyfriend...was the driver during the incident, and gave a detailed story about being in the car with him and the various locations that they went to that day," the complaint says. The boyfriend was arrested at that time.

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Officers later obtained and reviewed video surveillance from an area near 20th and Forest Home from the date and time of the crash. That video showed "a single occupant in the front area of the Jeep, obviously sitting in the driver's seat," the complaint says. The video also showed the driver had no apparent facial hair. However, Corrao's boyfriend has a beard that could not have grown in that time. Also, the complaint says "the defendant is 5'2" - the driver in the surveillance video is sitting extremely close to the wheel in a way that (the officer) states would be almost impossible for someone of (the boyfriend's) height," the complaint says.

The complaint goes on to say the officer "recognized the driver of the Jeep as the defendant, Amber Corrao, based both on the shape of the face and in particular the jaw as well as how her hair was pulled back."