A 38-year-old Lacey man will serve 12 months of probation after pleading guilty in a 2012 vehicular assault case.
Ramey K. Collins entered his plea before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy on Tuesday afternoon.
According to court documents, Collins had given a friend a ride on his motorcycle in June 2012 after he had been drinking. He lost control of the motorcycle while driving on Carpenter Road at about 1 a.m.
Both Collins and his passenger were taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital, and the passenger was eventually transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She suffered a fractured pelvis, a fractured wrist and a broken rib, according to court documents.
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A blood draw was taken at about 2:45 a.m., showing that Collins had a blood alcohol level of 0.18 — more than twice the legal limit for driving.
Collins was charged with vehicular assault while driving under the influence in September 2013, but the case lingered in the court system while attorneys debated whether to admit the results of a blood draw as evidence in the case.
Ultimately, Judge Gary Tabor ruled last December that the blood draw results were not admissible. Collins was unconscious at the time of the blood draw and the court hadn’t issued a warrant.
At the time, state law allowed for blood draws to take place when a vehicular assault suspect was unconscious, but a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned the statute. Collins’s attorney, Christopher Taylor, asked that the evidence be ruled inadmissible because it violated the Fourth Amendment.
Tabor granted the request.
At the Tuesday hearing, Collins pleaded guilty to vehicular assault with disregard for the safety of others — a charge that would typically carry a sentencing range of between three years, seven months and four years, nine months in prison.
However, Collins was found eligible for the Family Offender Sentencing Alternative and both Taylor and Deputy Prosecutor Mark Thompson recommended that he be sentenced to 12 months of probation.
Thompson explained that Collins has an infant daughter with his current wife, and that the mother of his son died recently, leaving him to care for the child. The deputy prosecutor said the victim in the case also agreed with the recommendation.
“She does not want Mr. Collins to be separated from his young daughter,” Thompson said.