Jail officer charged in fatal crash released

She was drunk, had bag of marijuana, police say

July 02, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A corrections officer who was arrested after a car crash that killed her passenger Sunday morning has been freed on bail and says she recalls nothing about the accident or the 2-gallon bag of marijuana police say they found in her car, her attorney said.

Shawnisha Lucas, 24, was charged Sunday with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, as well as driving under the influence of alcohol.

At a hearing yesterday, Lucas' bail was reduced from $300,000 to $75,000. She was released last night from the Baltimore City Detention Center.

Lucas' lawyer, Paul Kramer, said his client had no recollection of the 5 a.m. Sunday crash in the 1700 block of Bloomingdale Road that police allege she caused and no knowledge of the marijuana police say they found in her car.

"She has never been known to use drugs," Kramer said. "She went out to socialize with friends, and the next thing she knows she was in this accident. At this point, she doesn't remember much."

The impact of the crash, which involved three parked vehicles, caused passenger Talia Lyles to be thrown through the windshield of Lucas' white Buick. Lyles, 24, died three hours later at Bon Secours Hospital. Lucas, 24, of Bolton Hill, suffered no apparent injuries.

Charging documents allege that after the crash Lucas was giggling, stumbling and denying that she was the driver of the car as her friend lay bleeding on the ground.

A Breathalyzer test found Lucas to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.13 percent, according to charging documents. The legal limit in Maryland is 0.08 percent.

LaMont W. Flanagan, commissioner of the state's Division of Pretrial Detention and Services, said he is investigating whether Lucas was doing anything inappropriate or illegal on the job. She was hired about four months ago and worked the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift.

The commissioner said yesterday that he had completed paperwork to terminate Lucas' employment and said that it will take a few weeks for the personnel action to become official.

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