Judge rejects woman's effort to wipe out conviction

October 09, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A woman who was found guilty seven years ago of homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol was denied her request yesterday to wipe out her conviction in the death of a 9-year-old Westminster girl.

In a written order, Carroll County Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. praised Lisa Ann McLain, 28, as a "a mature and responsible member of society with noble goals and aspirations."

But the judge agreed with the prosecutor's assertion that "mercy and compassion have already been shown by this Court."

McLain, then a college junior, was sentenced to five days in jail in 1996 in Ashley Frazier's death. Burns sentenced her to a year in jail with all but five days suspended. He also placed her on five years of supervised probation upon her release, and ordered her to perform six months of community service and pay a $2,000 fine.

At a hearing last month, McLain asked the judge to modify her sentence further by granting her probation before judgment, a finding that could allow her to expunge her guilty finding and pursue a career in teaching.

"While we empathize with Defendant's inability to fulfill her dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher due to her felony conviction, standing alone, this reason is not compelling enough to modify an already lenient sentence," the judge wrote.

Ashley, a fourth-grader at Spring Garden Elementary School, was killed Dec. 22, 1995. She was at the end of her driveway in the 2500 block of Coon Club Road when she was struck by McLain's car about 8:30 a.m.

During her trial, a toxicologist testified that McLain's blood alcohol level at the time of the incident was likely 0.08 percent, based on the results of a Breathalyzer test given three hours later.

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