Man pleads guilty to DWI in fatal crash

Clarksville resident, 20, crossed center line after police spoke to him at party

March 23, 2000|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 20-year-old Clarksville man pleaded guilty yesterday to killing a Cooksville woman in a car accident in November 1998 while he was drunk.

Justin D. Wilson pleaded guilty to negligent homicide by a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He could be sentenced to five years in prison, but prosecutors said they will ask Judge Diane O. Leasure to sentence Wilson to 18 months in the county jail.

Wilson was driving his Toyota pickup truck north on Route 32 near Burnt Woods Road about 6: 50 a.m. Nov. 28 when he crossed the center line and struck a car traveling south. The driver of that car, Mary Lou Shumaker, 51, was killed.

Wilson was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where his blood alcohol level was 0.14 about three hours after the accident, said prosecutor Danielle Duclaux. That put Wilson above the legal limit of 0.10.

About 4 a.m. that day, a Sykesville police officer responded to a house party and noticed Wilson appeared to be drunk when "he staggered over toward the door," Duclaux said.

The officer told Wilson that he would return later "with charging documents," Duclaux said. The officer felt that Wilson was too intoxicated to understand the situation and the officer left the scene, Duclaux said.

A few hours later, Wilson veered across the center line of Route 32 in Howard County, missed another car and struck Shumaker's.

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