Woman sentenced to 18 years in fatal drunk driving crash

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UPDATE (Oct. 26, 2015)– Tabitha Walters pleaded guilty to causing death when operating a motor vehicle with an ACE of .15 or more, causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the blood and OWI. She was sentenced to 18 years.

Original story:

A woman has turned herself in to authorities after she was charged in connection with the death of a pedestrian Wednesday.

Tabitha Walters is behind bars at the Johnson County Jail. She faces several charges, including OWI and causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Tyler Deputy, 19, was killed as he was walking along Emerson Avenue, which is north of Tracy Road, on May 11.

His father said it has been difficult knowing no one was charged in his son’s death until now.

“(We’ve had) a lot of heartache (and) sadness. It’s unbearable, unbelievable. It just shouldn’t (have) happened to him,” Mac Deputy said.

Deputy described his son as a hard worker, who was happy and constantly smiling. Tyler Deputy leaves behind a fiancé and his daughter, who is nearly 2. Mac Deputy said he misses his son dearly.

According to Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox, when the crash happened, a deputy smelled alcohol on Walters.

Walters was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries. She was not arrested, but a blood draw was taken. Sheriff Cox said toxicology results take anywhere between five to six months. He said those results came back faster because they put a rush on the results. Cox said Walters texted positive for alcohol and marijuana.

“This doesn’t bother me at all that you’re here doing this because it may be something that helps us or helps other people speed up the process. If that was my son or daughter that was killed in that accident, I probably wouldn’t be happy that the accident happened in May and here it is August and we’re just getting someone arrested,” Cox said.

FOX59 learned Walters has another case pending in Johnson County. According to Chief Deputy Prosecutor Joe Villanueva, Walters was arrested October 2012. She was accused of operating while intoxicated. She bonded out of jail.

He said her blood was drawn in that case too. The toxicology results took months to come back. The results did not come back until the end of May 2013. He said she had alcohol in her system and charges were filed in June.

Villanueva said that everything went through its proper process. He said when the charges were filed in connection to Tyler Deputy’s death, it was requested that her bond be revoked because of the 2012 case, a request which was granted.

“The fact that she had the other case doesn’t play into the fact of the evidence we have on the second case,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva said, in both cases, they needed to wait for the results of the toxicology reports to move forward with the cases. They will be consolidated and will be handled by the same judge.

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