Othello woman in Franklin County fatal crash case skips sentencing

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldNovember 14, 2012 

An Othello woman who was out of jail awaiting sentencing for driving under the influence of alcohol and killing her friend in a crash skipped out on her court hearing Tuesday.

A no-bail warrant was ordered for Alejandra Cardona after she failed to appear in Franklin County Superior Court to be sentenced for the September 2011 wreck.

Cardona, 26, pleaded guilty Oct. 23 to vehicular homicide and was released on her personal recognizance. She had been out of custody since Aug. 1 when her bail was reduced from $25,000 to $2,500 and she agreed to wear a special ankle bracelet that monitors alcohol use.

She had to continue to wear the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, or SCRAM bracelet, during the two weeks until she was supposed to be sentenced.

On Tuesday, however, Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultgrenn told Judge Craig Matheson that he received information that Cardona "may have tampered with her SCRAM bracelet as of last night."

Cardona faced a sentencing range of up to three years and five months in prison, but Hultgrenn had agreed to recommend two years and seven months as part of the plea deal.

Cardona and her friend, Auroa Del Pilar Bazan, 27, of Othello, were leaving the Tri-Cities around 3:30 a.m. Sept. 25, 2011, when Cardona fell asleep behind the wheel.

Her 2002 Ford Explorer went off Highway 395 about 10 miles north of Pasco, rolled over and struck a light pole.

Del Pilar Bazan, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the SUV. She died at the scene.

Cardona's blood-alcohol level about 21/2 hours after the wreck was 0.078 percent, court documents said. The legal limit in Washington is 0.08 percent.

Prosecutor seeks more time in fencing case

A Franklin County deputy prosecutor told a judge Tuesday that he needs more time to prepare his case against a Pasco man accused of buying stolen property at his auto shop.

Tim Dickerson said that he had to change the nature of his case after Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson ruled last week that police went beyond the scope of a search warrant that allowed them to look for suspected stolen property at City Lube, 301 W. Lewis St.

Matheson suppressed most of the items seized from Jesus Arellano Chavarria's downtown Pasco shop because officers searched an adjacent property that was not listed on the warrant. He also tossed out two additional warrants that were issued based on items found during the first search.

Dickerson said that he might need to call a different set of witnesses based on the items left that can be used as evidence in Chavarria's Dec. 5 trial.

He also said he might have to amend the charge of first-degree trafficking stolen property against Chavarria.

"It does appear right now, if we go to trial, it may end up being a possession case and not trafficking," he said.

Matheson agreed to continue pretrial hearings one week to Nov. 27, but the trial date was not changed.

Chavarria, 40, has been in the Franklin County jail since his Aug. 1 arrest.

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