SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A San Francisco woman, charged with felony child endangerment in connection with the death of her 2-year-old niece, pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon.

25-year-old Lorysha Gage appeared before a judge at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco, sobbing at times. She was appointed a public defender and bail has been set at $50,000.

The charge stems from the death of 2-year-old Mi’Yana Gregory on the night of August 15. Gage was caring for Mi’Yana and her twin brother.  At about 10:30 p.m. that night, police said Gage and Mi’Yana crossed Mission Street between Fourth and Fifth streets against the pedestrian signal. She allegedly walked with Mi’Yana to the middle of the street and left her there while she retrieved her nephew on the sidewalk. A vehicle then struck and killed the girl, before leaving the scene. The vehicle remains at large and is described as a white mid-1990s four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry, Honda or Lexus, with a dark-colored mismatched front bumper and dark or black rims.

“I don’t know what was running across her mind, but I don’t feel like Lu-Lu should be in jail. She needs to be there to help the rest of them because they’re going to crack up,” said the toddler’s maternal great grandmother Irene Matthews.

But paternal great grandmother Cynthia Johnson said she thinks the $50,000 bail has been set too low.

“Yes, we do need to look for the other party involved. Yes, they do need to come forward for their part in it,” Johnson said. “But their part in it was only because [of] someone else’s negligence.”  Gage’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 3.

Mi’Yana’s funeral is scheduled for Monday, August 25. Friends and family have started an online fundraising effort to pay for the funeral expenses, collecting over $3,000 so far. They left a note on the page on Thursday. “Thanks to all that have donated and we ask that you keep the family in prayer and thoughts as we continue the search for the person or persons responsible for the hit-and-run.”

Click here for more on how you can help with  Mi’Yana’s funeral expenses.


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