Crime

Her smiling mugshot made national headlines, but she won’t be coming back to Tri-Cities soon

Angenette Welk made national headlines when she smiled for her mugshot after a crash where she drove drunk. A 60-year-old woman died as a result of the crash.
Angenette Welk made national headlines when she smiled for her mugshot after a crash where she drove drunk. A 60-year-old woman died as a result of the crash. Marion County Jail

A woman whose smiling mugshot attracted national attention won’t be returning to Richland anytime soon.

Judge Steven G. Rogers sentenced Angenette M. Welk, 45, to 11 years in state prison after she pleaded no contest to one count of DUI manslaughter.

As part of the sentence, Welk has to write an essay each year on what she’s learned since the day of the crash.

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Angenette M. Welk Marion County Jail

She made national headlines last year after she flashed a wide grin following a crash that killed a 60-year-old woman. Her blood-alcohol level was at more than twice the legal limit following the collision.

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Angenette Welk Marion County Sheriff's Office

Each time she has returned to the Florida jail, her mugshots have been progressively more serious.

As she was waiting for trial, a Marion County judge let her move to Richland in November. As part of the terms, she had to wear a GPS tracking device and couldn’t leave her Washington home except to go to work or return to Florida. She also had to hand over her pilot and driver licenses.

Her stay in Richland ended in March after a judge reviewed her medical records and determined she had violated the terms of her release, according to court records. While the court records don’t say what prompted the decision, they do reference a similar DUI manslaughter case where a man’s bond was revoked after an officer saw he was drunk.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.
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