Man accused of killing 16-year-old girl in hit-and-run failed to appear in court, now in custody

Posted at 3:31 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 14:31:00-04

A man who was expected to appear in court on Tuesday did not show and was arrested Thursday at a home on the 3200 block of Beaver Circle. 

According to the Bell County Sheriff's Department, 21-year-old Juan DeLeon failed to appear in court after he was expected to enter a guilty plea for killing a 16-year-old girl after a hit-and-run. The warrant came through to the sheriff's office on Wednesday.

Rachael Westberg, 16, a student at Belton New Tech High School died after a hit-and-run on Jan. 20, according to Belton ISD. 

The Belton Police Department said the 16-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries after being hit by a vehicle on N. Industrial Park Rd.

Westburg was declared legally brain dead. Her family said she will be donating her organs, according to a GoFundMe

Police said the girl was jogging in the area around 7:10 p.m. when DeLeon hit her and did not stop. A passing driver saw the girl on the ground and contacted police. 

Police identified DeLeon as a suspect 2 hours after the accident. 

Belton ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon released the following statement: 

Rachael Westberg will always be remembered as a sweet and caring young lady who was loved by her peers. She was a member of the Belton High School Bel Canto Choir and was known for her beautiful voice and being a dedicated student."

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