An eastern Missouri woman has been charged with striking and killing her boyfriend with a sport utility vehicle.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a grand jury issued the tougher second-degree murder charge last week in the case against 52-year-old Paulette Lee Eaker, of Winfield. It replaces a charge of involuntary manslaughter that was filed in April.

Her public defender, Thomas Crocco, described the death "a tragic accident" but declined to comment further.

Eaker is accused of leaving the scene of an accident in the death of 52-year-old William Solomon Horstman. He was found unconscious inside his vehicle along the side of the road near his home on Graves Lane.