Archive for Thursday, August 30, 1990

WOMAN FOUND GUILTY IN CAR-TRAIN FATALITY

August 30, 1990

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A 24-year-old Tulsa, Okla., woman Wednesday pleaded no contest and was found guilty of amended misdemeanor charges stemming from a 1989 accident that killed a Haskell Indian Junior College student.

The woman, Edwina Rae Sandoval, originally was charged with two felony counts of aggravated vehicular homicide but pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide.

Vehicular homicide, a Class A misdemeanor, carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

After Sandoval entered the no-contest plea, she was found guilty by District Judge Ralph King. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 14.

Prosecutors alleged that Sandoval was under the influence of alcohol or drugs May 11, 1989, when the car she was driving struck another car and knocked it into the path of a train.

Lester Battise, 25, Livingston, Tex., a passenger in the car struck by the train, died in the accident, which occurred on a gravel road that runs west of U.S. Highway 24-59 on the north edge of Lawrence.

Jerry Wells, Douglas County assistant district attorney, this morning said prosecutors offered the reduced charges for several reasons.

Wells said traveling would have been extremely difficult for a number of witnesses who now live out of town and out of state and suffered severe injuries in the accident.

Also, Wells said, Sandoval is 28 to 29 weeks pregnant and has already spent time in jail on the charge.

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