Larimer County DUI Recovery Court marks 10th anniversary

Larimer County DUI Recovery Court marks 10th anniversary

The Larimer County DUI Recovery Court recently marked its 10th anniversary of providing participants with substance use disorder treatment and intensive monitoring as an alternative to incarceration.

The first participant entered the DUI Recovery Court program in July 2010. Since then, 120 people have successfully graduated from the program, which generally takes 20 to 30 months to complete.  The program, which serves people convicted of felony DUI whose DUI behavior can be traced to a clinical substance use disorder, currently has 19 participants. Participants access comprehensive treatment while continuing to live and work in the community. They are held accountable through a sentence that combines an initial term of work release, intensive probation supervision and biweekly or monthly court reviews, during which they speak with presiding Magistrate Matthew Zehe about their progress in treatment and on other program goals.

“This program works from the concept that recovery from substance use disorder, along with structures built on compassion and support to help participants stay true to their recovery, will accomplish resilient sobriety for our participants and safety for our community,” Magistrate Zehe said.  “After 10 years, the program is pleased to look back and see how successfully that vision played out.”

The DUI Recovery Court is a collaborative effort managed by program coordinator Harry McCrystal and representatives from the Probation Department, Larimer County Criminal Justice Services Division, Creative Counseling Services, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, and the private criminal defense bar. The team also has included representation from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Loveland and Colorado State University police departments. The team provides supervision and treatment services to participants, recommends appropriate court responses to compliance issues, and maintains program planning and development.

“I am awestruck looking back at the 10 years of dedication and hard work shown by this program’s team,” said team member Nathan Hansen, who represents the private criminal defense bar. “Actively participating in the individualized rehabilitation and rebuilding of so many lives in this community is a tremendous privilege. This program saves lives and should be celebrated.”

In August 2017, the program became the first DUI court to receive state accreditation in recognition of its adherence to evidence-based best practices for problem-solving courts. It is one of 76 problem-solving courts in Colorado, including adult and juvenile drug courts, family/dependency and neglect drug courts, DUI courts, adult and juvenile mental health courts, veteran trauma courts and truancy courts.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the program will defer a celebration of its anniversary until after pandemic conditions have eased.

Eyewitness says drunk driver did not stop after running over man

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – Investigators say a woman arrested in a fatal drunk driving incident admitted to consuming a six-pack of beer before getting behind the wheel.

Shanyell Cherish Headswift, 32, of Fargo was charged with vehicular homicide and lying to detectives, according to court records.

Yet, Headswift may have escaped if it wasn’t for a Good Samaritan who chased her vehicle down.

L.A. Sture said he was walking his dog at around 1 a.m. Friday near the intersection of 42nd St S and 10 Ave. He remembers seeing a man walking a few seconds before he heard a crash, causing his heart to sink. 

“You know I said, ‘sir, I don’t know if you can hear me. But you’ve been in an accident and there’s an ambulance on the way. I’ll stay here with you,’” Sture said. 

Sture said his first instinct was to rush in and help the man who was lying along 42nd St S bleeding heavily. 

“He didn’t respond at all. He was perfectly still, but I still just wanted to stay there with him,” Sture said. 

Police identified the victim as 39-year-old Peter McKenney of Alexandria, Minnesota.

Sture said that Headswift kept driving her car and did not stop for McKenney. 

He reportedly ran after the car so he could get a good look at the license plate. Headswift eventually stopped near the light. 

Sture said he saw someone get out of the vehicle and run away on foot. When officers arrived, Headswift was in the driver’s seat, according to court documents 

“There’s no swerving. There was no like screeching of the brakes or anything like that. It’s like the car….[she] hit him and then [she] kept going for about half a block before [she] even started slowing down,” Sture said. 

According to court documents, Headswift admitted to drinking a six-pack and a couple of “shooters.”

She apparently had poor balance and a strong odor of alcohol. 

Investigators said Headswift first told police she was the only person in the vehicle, however, later admitted there was a man in the passenger seat.

Police: Arkansas teen plowed into cemetery while driving under the influence of drugs

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — A teenager in Blytheville, Arkansas is facing a long list of charges after a series of car crashes. Police say the young man plowed through a cemetery after a hit and run accident.

That accident happened Monday afternoon at the intersection of North Division and West Highway 18. Investigators say the 17-year-old ran a red light and turned into oncoming traffic before hitting Willie Westmoreland’s vehicle head on. 

 “He just boom! And then he backed up and I thought he was going to get out and look at the damage,” Westmoreland said.

But police say he just kept going down North Division where he hopped a curb and plowed through the cemetery. Investigators say the collision was so violent the engine from his Toyota Camry flew out of the car.  

The cemetery says 37 gravesites were damaged including 17 headstones and some of the gravesites were damaged by battery acid and oil that leaked from the vehicle. 

Police believe the teen was on drugs when he got behind the wheel. He was checked out at the hospital, but investigators haven’t said how badly he was hurt. Westmoreland says he’s knees are sore but none of his bones were broken.

The teen is charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs and leaving the scene of an accident. 

Police say these are the third and fourth crashes he’s been involved in since August. They haven’t said if they believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the others, and after previous wrecks and pending charges, it’s unclear if he was still eligible to drive.

“I don’t hold no grudges against him and I hope he get better and after this kind of straighten his life up,” Westmoreland said.

Westmoreland’s wife Rosie feels bad for all those families with damaged graves.

“Those tombstones are not cheap,” she said.

After four accidents, WREG is still trying to determine if the teen has a license to drive. According to the cemetery’s owner, the teen’s mother is working with their insurance company to compensate the families with damaged graves.

Man arrested after firing gun in tavern, leading police on chase

Kenosha Police arrested a 32-year-old man accused of firing a handgun while at a local tavern in the 1400 block of 52nd Street before leading authorities on a chase that ended with them deploying road spikes to stop him in Somers early Sunday.

The Kenosha man, who was not immediately identified, was transported to the Kenosha County Jail awaiting a court appearance on multiple charges of recklessly endangering safety for displaying and firing the weapon, felony fleeing and eluding, carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest and operating a vehicle while intoxicated-second offense.

At about 2:20 a.m., police responded to a weapons call for a man with gun at La Botana Bar & Grille, 1400 52nd St. According to Lt. Tim Schaal, the man had argued with patrons inside the bar and fired the weapon. No one was injured, he said.

“The male suspect was in the bar when he got into an argument with some of the patrons. At one point in the argument, he pulled out a gun and started pointing it at a female,” he said. “He did fire it, not at her, but into the ground.”

As officers arrived, the man left the bar in a truck and when they spotted him, they attempted to stop him, Schaal said. The man did not stop.

The vehicle eventually came to rest in a ditch in the 800 block of Sheridan Road.

Police and sheriff’s department law enforcement officers surrounded the vehicle. Authorities used an electronic control device to subdue him when he didn’t comply with their orders for him to exit, he said. Following a search of the man, they found a 9 mm handgun.

South Point DD, family advocate killed in Scioto County crash

Was member of LCDD board; Investigation into crash underway

SOUTH WEBSTER — A South Point woman who served on the board of Lawrence County Developmental Disabilities was killed in a crash in Scioto County on Saturday after troopers said she and her husband’s motorcycle was struck by vehicle with an intoxicated driver.

According to a news release from the Portsmouth post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, LoRena Cahal, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident on State Route 140 near Bloom Furnace in South Webster, while her husband, Steven L. Cahal, 51, was flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington.

Troopers said that, at 7:15 pm, the Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol received a report of what appeared to be an intoxicated male leaving the Country Store in South Webster after causing a disturbance at the business.

The troopers responded to search the area for what was described as a black van, and came upon the scene of a fatal crash involving a black van on Route 140.

Upon initial investigation, it was determined that a black 2016 Kia Sedona driven by Arnold Queen II, 42, of Wheelersburg, crossed the center line and struck a 2019 Harley Davidson motorcycle occupied by the Cahals.

LoRena Cahal was sworn onto the LCDD board in 2019 and was an advocate in the county for families on DD issues. She also worked as a family advocate with Head Start and the Lawrence County Early Childhood Academy.

The crash remains under investigation.

The Highway Patrol said on Sunday that Queen has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle while impaired.

He is set to appear in Scioto County Municipal Court on Tuesday.