Child’s Death Results in Murder Charge
Very few people, when having a few drinks before they drive off into the sunset, think about the possible consequences of their choices. 24-year-old Ieshia Barnes from Pontiac certainly didn’t. After all, if she had known that those drinks would end up costing a child’s life and earn her a murder charge in exchange, chances are, she wouldn’t have had them.
According to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, Barnes crossed six lanes of traffic in her Chevy Blazer, before running a red light and crashing into Alysea Stilwell’s Pontiac Montana. Barnes, whose blood alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit at the scene, was estimated to be traveling at almost 60 mph at the time of impact.
In Stilwell’s car with her were her 16-year-old brother, her 2-year-old nephew, and her daughter 3-year-old Tabatha. All four were critically injured in the accident, and hospitalized as a result. But for little Tabatha, that hospital stay only lasted two days. She died on April 19th while on life support.
Tabatha’s death changed the charges against Barnes. One of them, anyway. Barnes is now charged with a single count of second-degree murder, a single count of operating while intoxicated, and three counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injuries.
Regarding the three remaining accident victims at Beaumont Royal Oak Hospital, only incomplete information is available. Stilwell’s nephew, little David Newland Jr, is still in critical condition at the hospital. He is currently also on life support. Doctors say that he has sustained a cracked vertebrae and is paralyzed on one side.
Stilwell is said to have suffered a broken pelvis and is in recovery. No information is available at all regarding the condition of her brother, the 16-year-old.
Barnes’ bond was set at $500,000, however she was not given the option of a 10 percent down payment. Her most recent court date was on May 5. If convicted, Barnes could face life in prison.
No one knows what lies ahead on the road of life, and all we can do to prepare for it is try to make the best choices possible in the moment. Drinking and driving is never going to be the best choice. For you or for anyone else. As attorneys who have seen a great deal of suffering over the years , we would recommend to everyone, whether or not they are our clients, to make safe choices when it comes to drinking and driving.