An Olympia woman who allegedly crashed a sport utility vehicle into a fence and power pole on Nisqually Cut Off Road on April 6 spent two years in prison after killing a man while driving drunk in 2005, court papers state.
The Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for Angela Mae Heller, 32, of Olympia after filing a felony driving-under-the-influence charge against her in connection with last week’s one-vehicle crash. She initially was booked and released after that crash, Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Toynbee confirmed Thursday.
According to court papers:
A Washington State Patrol trooper arrested Heller after arriving at the scene about 4:26 a.m. Heller and a man were standing in the road near where a white SUV had crashed.
The man said he had been driving the SUV, but after the trooper asked him a few questions, Heller acknowledged that she had been driving.
Heller told the trooper she’d had one beer “a while ago” and took a preliminary breath test showing that her blood-alcohol content was 0.097, above the legal limit for drivers. She was arrested and taken to the Lacey Police Department, where her blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.087 and 0.084; the legal limit for drivers is 0.08.
Heller initially was cited with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, Toynbee said. A Thurston County prosecutor later learned of Heller’s conviction for vehicular homicide while driving drunk, which made her eligible to be charged with felony DUI.
Heller was sentenced to four years in prison in 2006 but only was incarcerated from Feb. 17, 2006, to Dec. 1, 2008, because of time off good behavior.
Heller was on duty delivering pizzas Sept. 1, 2005, when her car crossed the center line and struck the left side of a Toyota Camry driven by Jerry Welch.
Welch was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses smelled alcohol on Heller, and she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 when her blood later was drawn.
Heller’s court-ordered community custody under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections ended Oct. 20. If she had been arrested on suspicion of DUI before that date, she would have been subject to potential sanctions. Heller violated her community-custody requirements multiple times in 2009: by consuming alcohol, using a controlled substance, entering an establishment that serves alcohol and “submitting a diluted or adulterated UA,” court papers state.
Jeremy Pawloski: firstname.lastname@example.org