Woman admits guilt to DUI, not charged in cyclist’s death

Cyclist, under influence of alcohol, drove bike in front of vehicle

By Neal Putnam

A woman who was driving under the influence of methamphetamine when she struck and killed a bicyclist in Ramona pleaded guilty to being under the influence of methamphetamine and driving under the influence.

Suzanne Nicole Reed, 33, was sentenced on Nov. 29 to 90 days in jail and was remanded immediately into custody. She is housed at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility, and the sheriff’s department said her projected release is Jan. 28, 2012.

Reed was not charged with causing the death of David Bruce Menea, 54, of Ramona, who was killed on Sept. 11, 2010, on Main Street. Menea’s blood/alcohol was .17 that night, the prosecutor told the judge on Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar told El Cajon Superior Court Judge Sharon Majors-Lewis that his office conducted a long investigation before concluding Menea’s actions “were definitely the primary cause for the collision.”

“He crossed in front of her. He violated her right of way,” said Aguilar to the judge. “She veered right to avoid him.”

Aguilar said Reed was driving a Toyota 4Runner around 9 p.m. and her vehicle struck Menea and then hit a parked Volkswagen which was pushed into the entrance of Mike’s Liquor store at 2405 Main St. Reed also struck a stop sign.

Reed’s attorney, Joseph Bryans, said Menea did not have a light on his bicycle and it was a dark night.

“The bicycle came out in front of her,” said Bryans.

The prosecutor said his office considered vehicular manslaughter charges against Reed, but was “not able to go forward” after it was determined Menea drove his bicycle in front of her while he was under the influence of alcohol.

The DA’s office decided against charging Reed with Menea’s death, and filed the two misdemeanor meth counts in August. Reed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of using methamphetamine and driving under the influence of it.

Reed’s attorney asked for immediate sentencing, and Majors-Lewis imposed 90 days in jail on terms of five years probation. A one-year jail term was imposed, with all but 90 days suspended.

Reed was fined $2,500 and ordered to complete the multiple conviction program, as she was on probation for a 2008 incident in which she pleaded guilty to drunk driving.

The judge revoked her probation because she didn’t remain law abiding by getting a new case. Majors-Lewis imposed a 90-day sentence on the 2008 case, but ordered it to run concurrent with the other 90-day term. She was reinstated to probation on the 2008 case, said Bryans.

The judge told Reed she still owes fines from the 2008 case. Court records show the county had started collections proceedings against her for the $1,605 she owed.

Reed received credit for the one day she spent in jail in 2010 after being released from the hospital, and she posted bond. At the time, she was living in El Cajon, but has since moved to Texas.

After Reed finishes her 90 days, it is expected her probation will be transferred to Texas authorities. She has to obtain permission to leave the state and to have her probation transferred, said her attorney.

A Jan. 31 hearing has been set to go over the transfer of probation to Texas and to review the sentence.

There were two people in the parked Volkswagen that was pushed into the liquor store and they were treated for pain. The store’s cashier was struck by flying debris and the cashier was taken to a hospital.

Related posts:

  1. Woman faces misdemeanor charge in cyclist’s death
  2. Motorist sentenced to six years in woman’s death
  3. Ramona man enters innocent plea in woman’s sidewalk death
  4. Woman accused of misdemeanor manslaughter in local man’s death
  5. Driver to stand trial in woman’s death

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Posted by Staff on Dec 11 2011. Filed under News, Ramona, Sheriff/Fire. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Woman admits guilt to DUI, not charged in cyclist’s death”

  1. [...] according to the Ramona Sentinel, she wasn’t responsible for his death, because the cyclist was drunk when he was [...]

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