[This is an old case: it happened in Tucson before 2009, but it has a bit of a twist… ]
December 1, 2006: A driver plows into the rear end of a bicyclist in a Tuscon-area Bike Lane (or probably more accurately, a shoulder), killing him. The young woman driving is drunk, very drunk. She gets convicted (it’s apparently a plea deal, Pima Co records are crappy, but I see no mention of a trial) of negligent homicide; here’s the twist, a phone call from jail while awaiting sentencing (from what i remember, all jail phone calls are monitored/recorded) causes her to receive the max sentence:
During the conversation, the man told Arrington [the drunk driver] that an acquaintance believed she should get a medal and a parade because she had “taken out” a “tree hugger, a bicyclist, a Frenchman and a gay guy all in one shot.”
Arrington laughed. When the man said he knew it was a terrible thing to say, she responded, “No, it’s not.”
Harsh justice? I would say not, she should have been convicted of (at least) manslaughter. Oh, and get this: she’s a repeater, at the time “driving on a suspended license for a prior DUI”. The aggravated DUI charge sentence was most likely was sentenced concurrently. Why did the prosecutor cook up this sweet deal in the first place?
This story has additional notable unrelated weirdnesses, while police were investigating the scene on southbound Old Spanish Trail:
While deputies were at the scene of the crash, another person suspected of drinking and driving barreled through barricades and cones that were set up, Woolridge said. The driver, a 20-year-old man, struck an unoccupied patrol car, flipped and slid into a second patrol car carrying a Sheriff’s Department volunteer, Woolridge said.
We can only hope the Melissa has dried out in prison and won’t be driving impaired anymore; she also at the time of her sentencing pledged to become an anti-DUI evangelist, that would be nice. She I would guess got out of prison sometime around 2015 (85% time). I’d be curious to know how the license revocation for the neg homicide (3 years per 28-3304. Mandatory revocation) and the agg DUI works (1 year per 28-1383; and she had two counts for some reason), it seems like time incarcerated shouldn’t count toward revocation time but I don’t see that stated anywhere.
Woman Gets Maximum Prison Term After Laughing About Murder Victim’s Death
Published January 24, 2008 Associated Press
TUCSON, Ariz. – A judge sentenced a woman to nearly the maximum prison term for negligent homicide after hearing a recorded jail conversation in which she made light of the bicyclist she killed….
Melissa Arrington, 27, was convicted two months ago of negligent homicide and two counts of aggravated DUI in connection with the December 2006 death of Paul L’Ecuyer.
… L’Ecuyer, 45, was riding his bike the night of Dec. 1, 2006 when Arrington swerved off the road, hit him and then continued for 800 feet before stopping, according to Deputy Pima County Attorney Jonathan Mosher… Arrington’s blood-alcohol content was .156 percent, nearly double Arizona’s .08 legal limit. She had been driving on a suspended license for a prior DUI.