While a criminal case against a drunk driver who killed a couple in a horrific crash last Oct. 21 was resolved last month, little movement appears to have occurred in the case against a woman charged with the traffic death of a Lakewood woman that occurred just a week after that accident.
Court records show that no trial date has yet been set for Shannon Marie Scott, 26, also of Lakewood, who faces a vehicular manslaughter charge in the Nov. 2 death of Martha Hilts, 36.
The mother of two and active volunteer was killed when she was struck by a car while jogging around 4:30 a.m. on the sidewalk along Lakewood Loop near her home.
Scott was arrested on a felony charge of reckless manslaughter after police say her blood-alcohol level was .08 – exactly at the minimum for a drunk-driving determination.
The arrest report said that besides the defendant showing “signs and symptoms of alcohol impairment,” police detected “a strong odor of marijuana” in her car. Relatives said police estimate the car was traveling at 40 mph when it struck the victim, throwing her 75 feet.
Court records show that a county grand jury indicted her several weeks after her arrest and that despite a flurry of various legal motions, no trial date has yet been set.
Scott, listed in court records as a part-time academic adviser for Phoenix College, is free on bond.
Meanwhile, court proceedings concluded last month with a 14-year prison term for a Chandler woman who two weeks before the Lakewood accident caused a five-car collision on I-10 near Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino that killed a couple and seriously injured two other people.
Lauren Tamburrelli, 26, had her 3-year-old daughter in her car when it struck an SUV, triggering a five-car crash that took the lives of Lindsey Earl, 29, of Lakeside and Thomas Dempsey, 29, of Pinetop.
Tamburrelli spoke incoherently when officers tried to talk to her and became combative with people who tried to help her, according to one witness. She also had tried to walk away from the crash, according to reports.
Tamburrelli in 2009 pleaded guilty with another girl to making a fake bomb threat that shut down Corona del Sol High School in Tempe because the friend wanted a day off.
Court records detail the serious damage caused by Tamburrelli, who pleaded guilty to charges in the case and was given two consecutive seven-year terms.
Dempsey and Earl, who were engaged, were heading back from Marana where they had been looking for a new home. He had just been promoted manager of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marana and the two were relocating there from Pinetop.
In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said Tamburrelli slammed into their car from behind, forcing it into a median, and then sideswiped another vehicle. Debris from the crash flew into the lanes of oncoming traffic and struck two more vehicles, one with a couple and their two small children.
Tamburrelli was “staggering with witnesses attempting to hold her up” and “had a strong odor of a alcoholic beverage on her breath, red, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and mood swings,” prosecutors said, adding that tests show her blood alcohol level was .20 – more than twice the legal limit for drunk driving.
Families of the slain couple had opposed the plea agreement that prosecutors reached with Tamburrelli and had wanted more prison time. Prosecutors said the length of sentence was “appropriate given the totality of the facts and circumstances surrounding this case.”
In a pre-sentence memo, court authorities said the driver of the car that was sideswiped suffered a concussion and neck sprain and had to quit college and a nonprofit agency “she cares about deeply” because she was left without a vehicle for four months.
A victim in one of the other cars struck by debris suffered PTSD and had to work from home for a month after the accident, the memo said.
Tamburrelli refused to talk to pre-sentence investigators, who noted:
“The premature deaths of Thomas Dempsey and Lindsay Early are unbearable and tremendous losses to their families. The lasting emotional devastation suffered by the two families and friends cannot be overlooked. This is truly a tragic situation for all parties involved.”