Driver in Fatal Bike Accident Had Previous DUI charges

Update at 6:30 p.m. | Howard had two previous DUI charges — one in August and one in June, according to Athens-Clarke County Solicitor General C.R. Chisholm, Jr.

“You can what-if a lot of things in this case,” Chisholm said Wednesday.

One of those things is the fact that Howard was out on bond even after a second DUI charge, which is required under Georgia law.

Judges are required to grant bond to defendants accused a misdemeanors, and since driving under the influence is a misdemeanor, Howard was out on bond when she struck and killed Ashley Block and injured two others Monday.

Chisholm said he feels “terrible” about this case and also called on lawmakers in Atlanta to come up with a solution to this problem.

Howard is charged with two felony charges: 1st Degree Homicide by Vehicle and Serious Injury by Vehicle.

By: Dillon Richards

 

Original article posted at 11:50 a.m.

ATHENS, Ga — A Madison County woman charged with homicide by vehicle after a fatal crash on Monday was denied bond Wednesday morning.

Whitney Baker Howard, who has at least two other pending charges for driving under the influence this year, is a “significant threat or danger,” to the Athens community, ruled Magistrate Court Judge Judy Clay.

Howard’s attorney argued that Monday’s events are “tragic regardless of Ms. Howard’s criminal culpability,” and that Howard could stay with her grandmother and would follow all bond restrictions set by the court.

The prosecution argued that Howard’s pending DUI charges and other assorted history of speeding and suspended licenses preclude her from being bailed out of jail.

“Putting keys in her hand is like handing her a loaded gun with a shaky trigger finger,” argued Assistant District Attorney David Lock.

Monday’s crash killed Ashley Block, a graduate student at the University of Georgia who was researching anthropology and ecology; she was a cross-country runner and cared deeply about conservation, according to a memorial post.

The crash also seriously injured Mitchell Eric Enfinger, who was transported immediately to Athens Regional Medical Center.

By: Dillon Richards

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