LONGMONT - Kendra Balentine says she is still expecting to wake up from what she calls a horrific nightmare.
"I can't say I'm alright because I am not," she told 9News on Friday as she sat next to her pastor inside Messiahville Baptist Church in Longmont.
Last week, Longmont Police arrested the 18-year old on suspicion of leaving the scene of a New Year's Eve accident that left 16 year old Jason Grimmer dead. Prosecutors have charged her with a class three felony.
"I have a 16-year old sister, so if I was to lose my sister I would be incredibly sad," she said. "But like I told everyone else, putting an innocent person in jail is not justice." When asked directly if she had anything to do with Grimmer's death, she said, "No."
"If there is a crime I committed, it's being in a church. If being in a church is a crime, then lock me up," she said.
Her attendance at a New Years Eve event at Messiahville Baptist Church forms what her pastor believes is a rock-solid alibi. "I believe 100 percent in my statement that [Kendra] never left the [church] room at the time of the accident," Pastor Corey Seulean said.
Cell phone video shot by her mother indicates that Kendra was inside the church around 9 p.m. The accident happened around 10 p.m. The accident scene is only a few minutes away from the church, but Pastor Seulean insists he talked with Kendra right around 10 p.m.
"The entire time Kendra is playing 'Apples to Apples' with a group of people at a table, and she never left the room," he added.
A Longmont Police Department spokesperson told 9News on Friday that the alleged alibi has "not fallen on deaf ears," but reiterated that investigators believe they have direct evidence that ties Balentine's car to the crime scene. Jeff Satur would not elaborate on what that evidence is, but said the investigation remains open and active.
Balentine admits there is some front end damage to her car but says the damage came from an accident with a parked car the week before.
In the meantime, Balentine who remains out in lieu of bond said she can't go anywhere these days.
"I'm pretty much hated by the town, most of the town right now. I've even had some friends say some pretty hurtful things to me," she said.
Her family is desperately trying to find a private attorney to work pro bono on the case. Currently Balentine is being represented by a public defender and has yet to return a series of phone calls.
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