The Campaign For DA

8.12.2009

Motorcycle Deaths Update

We had two in Tarrant County yesterday. The first one involved the lady above, who was allegedly drunk at 10:40 in the morning, and who has now been charged with murder. Normally, the charge would be Intoxication Manslaughter, a second degree felony, which carries with it a range of punishment of 2 to 20 years. But the State was able to get creative and charge her with first degree murder because, while she was committing a felony, she also committed "an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual." Penal Code § 19.02(a)(3). So what was the underlying felony she was committing since DWI is normally a misdemeanor? Felony DWI. DWI gets ramped up to a felony if a person has at least two prior convictions for DWI and the State says she has that history. (It's confusing, but this charge happens all the time in this situation.) The other motorcycle death allegedly involved the cyclist doing something reckless when he ran into a FedEx tractor-trailer. I'm told that the driver of the truck is a Wise County resident.