By John Clark
A Las Vegas stripper will face trial this winter after being accused of killing a young father while driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana in March, according to a report from the Las Vegas Sun.
Sources say 26-year-old Shauna Diane Miller pleaded not guilty to several counts of felony DUI during her arraignment this week in Clark County District Court. The judge set a trial date for December 9, sources note.
The tragic accident occurred on March 23 when Miller was driving home from her shift as an exotic dancer at the Spearmint Rhino, a strip club in the Las Vegas area.
At roughly 7 a.m., Miller’s Hummer H2 slammed into a Ford Escort driven by 33-year-old James Joseph White, who was less than two blocks from his house when the collision happened, according to the police report.
The collision killed White, but mercifully spared White’s 2-year-old son, who was in the backseat at the time of the accident. The child, however, suffered a skull fracture and several serious bruises as a result of the collision.
Because of the tragic nature of the accident, Miller and her local DUI attorney may have a difficult time proving her innocence to the Clark County court.
According to the police report, Miller claimed that her traffic light went from green to yellow as she was driving down Spring Mountain road. When she saw White’s car turn right on to her road, she failed to brake in time, and struck the Ford Escort at a high speed.
But some witnesses dispute Miller’s claim that her light was yellow at the time of the accident. In addition, prosecutors claim that her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, even though she told police she’d only had two beers at work.
The alcohol, however, isn’t Miller’s only problem. Sources note that prosecutors also claim the amount of marijuana in her system was more than five times the legal limit.
It’s important to note that alcohol, marijuana, and a wide range of prescription narcotics are all potential causes of a DUI arrest, depending on the nature of state drunk driving laws.
Sources note, though, that Miller has already started to mount a defense. During a preliminary hearing, Miller’s DUI attorney asked why police failed to check White’s past driving record after the accident.
It appears that Miller and her attorney will argue that White’s poor driving was the cause of the accident.
By John Clark
A California mother has been accused of causing a fatal accident while driving under the influence of alcohol, but she claims the death of her son was the result of poor driving by someone else, according to a report from CBS News.
According to sources, Tyesha Garrett was arrested for a DUI this week after she allegedly crashed her car at around 4 a.m. while entering Interstate 80 in the Sacramento area.
While trying to enter the freeway, Garrett reportedly lost control of her SUV, causing the car to flip, and forcing her 11-year-old son Eric out of the car.
The impact of the crash killed Garrett’s young son, who was reportedly riding with his mother while she delivered copies of The Sacramento Bee to retail outlets in the city, sources say.
Fortunately, the other two children who accompanied Eric and his mother on her paper route survived the accident without injuries. But the surviving children, ages 10 and 3, will have to grow up with the presence of their older brother.
While some questioned why the children were in the car with Garrett at such an odd hour, the driver’s brother, Derek Garrett defended his sister by saying the children “like to stay up and just go for a drive with mom” during the summer months when school isn’t in session.
Derek also claimed his sister plans to argue that she wasn’t at fault in the fatal crash, for which she will likely face multiple felony DUI charges.
“From what I was told, is she was cut off by a driver and she tried to slam on her brakes to get out the way, and then the whole car just tipped over,” said the defendant’s brother.
He also said the DUI allegations were odd, given Tyesha Garrett’s reputation. “It’s not normal. She never drinks and drives; she never puts her family in harm’s way,” said the brother. “I’m very angry. I’m very frustrated and hurt by the situation.”
But despite these claims, Tyesha Garrett will have to prove in court that she wasn’t at fault when her car fatally flipped on the side of the highway. She refused to speak to local sources, but is expected to make her first court appearance early next week.
In the meantime, she and her family will mourn the loss of 11-year-old Eric, a child who “loved to go outside and just play” and who was “just a happy kid,” according to his uncle.
By John Clark
A 64-year-old retired firefighter was arrested and charged with drunk driving this week in Surprise, Arizona, despite the fact that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.00 percent, according to a report from the Huffington Post.
Sources say the driver, Jessie Thornton, claims he was merely being punished for “driving while black,” and he told sources that he plans to file a lawsuit against the Surprise Police Department.
Indeed, this prediction proved true, as Thornton later filed a notice of claim that he would soon sue the police department for violating his civil rights and causing emotional distress. The retiree plans to sue for $500,000, according to sources.
The lawsuit stems from an incident a few months ago when Thornton was charged with a DUI by Surprise police, even though both breathalyzer and blood tests revealed that he did not have a drop of alcohol in his system.
Sources say police pulled Thornton over after the driver crossed a white lane marker, and the responding officer, citing the driver’s bloodshot eyes, insisted he was drunk.
Thornton, however, told the officer that his eyes were simply irritated because he was traveling home from a local health club, where he had exercised in an indoor pool.
He also told officers that his poor performance on a sobriety test was due to chronic knee and hip problems that prevented him from walking smoothly, sources say.
After the police took Thornton to the station, he registered a sterling blood alcohol content of 0.00 percent, and toxicology experts concluded that he showed “no signs of impairment,” according to reports.
During this time, Thornton’s car was impounded, and his license was suspended. In addition, the state told him that he had to attend a DUI class.
After months of prolonged court negotiations, Thornton was finally able to have the charges dropped, but not before his reputation was irreparably damaged, according to the driver.
And this isn’t Thornton’s first trouble with local police. According to Thornton, he has been pulled over by Surprise police on 10 separate occasions and received four tickets for bogus traffic violations.
In the notice of his forthcoming lawsuit, Thornton claims that he has been a victim of racial profiling, and has consistently been abused by local police for four years.
In response to Thornton’s allegations, the Surprise police department refused to talk to sources, but attorneys for the local police will likely have their hands full if Thornton’s unsettling allegations prove to be true.
By John Clark
Lance Mackey, a four-time Iditarod champion and dog sledding legend, was arrested this week and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a report from KTVA News in Alaska.
Sources say Mackey, who is accustomed to driving vehicles under extreme circumstances, went too far this week when he allegedly drove while intoxicated, although, like every DUI defendant, the Yukon Quest champion is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty.
According to reports, police stopped Mackey early Sunday morning after his 2008 Dodge Charger was seen speeding and rapidly accelerating down a road in Fairbanks.
In 2008, Mackey reportedly traded a Dodge pickup he won after winning the 2008 Iditarod for the Charger, which was adorned with a personalized license plate reading REPEAT, in honor of Mackey’s consecutive Iditarod victories.
When the responding officer pulled Mackey over, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol and also claimed that Mackey had slurred speech, watery eyes, and was unable to stand still, according to the police report.
The officer also noted that he had seen the 43-year-old Iditarod champion in a Fairbanks bar earlier that evening, and said Mackey appeared drunk at that time, as well.
According to sources, Mackey also failed a field sobriety test and registered a blood alcohol level of 0.147 percent after taking a portable breathalyzer test.
When he arrived at the police station, however, Mackey refused to take an official breath test. As a result, he has also been charged with refusing to take a breath test, sources report.
Local sources say that Mackey gained legendary status after surviving cancer and then winning the Iditarod four years in a row.
In 2007, Mackey became the first dog sled racer to win the Yukon Quest, the sport’s other major event, and the Iditarod in the same year.
Mackey is also known for a style some describe as “brash.” Before the 2009 Iditarod, Mackey bragged about getting three speeding tickets since trading for the Dodge Charger, and told reporters that he liked “going fast, not just on dogs.”
Today, however, Mackey would be best advised to slow down. Sources say he was arraigned this weekend in Fairbanks Superior Court, but was released from jail after posting a $3,000 bail.
Sources report that an initial hearing has been set for July 24, although it could be several months before Mackey decides whether to agree to a plea bargain or take his chances in a court of law.