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JESSICA WILLIAMS 120YEARS FOR TRACE AMOUNTS OF THC

by ALEX CAMPBELL Saturday, Mar. 17, 2001 at 1:16 PM
SUNYDAY23@GO.COM 5203475171 PBX 243 LITTLEFIELD AZ

BRIEF HISTORY AND HOW TO HELP

errorSix teen-agers cleaning up roadside trash as restitution for minor crimes were killed March/2000 on a busy interstate highway when a white mini van drifted into the median after the driver twenty year old Jessica Williams fell asleep.
Silver State pays the county to pick up trash that blows off its garbage trucks as they head to the landfill near Apex, a few miles north of the accident site.
"I always just assumed that they went to parks, I didn't know they were off on the side of the road." Said Lorene Boggs the mother of a child on a work crew.
Doug Gould can't understand why it was necessary to have his boy, Scott Garner Jr., 14, picking up trash in the middle of the busiest interstate in Nevada.
"What were they even doing out there?" Gould asked. "It makes no sense. It's Sunday afternoon, everyone is in the process of leaving Las Vegas, and the county has these kids out in the middle of a super-expressway ... you would think they would have had some safeguards."
Garner, of Henderson, was doing community service to clear a burglary charge from his juvenile record and was one of six teens killed near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Also killed were Las Vegans Anthony T. Smith, 14, Alberto Puig, 16, Rebeccah Glicken, 15,Malina Stoltzfus, 15, and Jennifer Booth, 16. The attorney elicited evidence that no signs, pylons or flagmen were present to warn drivers that children were working in the area.
"These young folks were extremely close to the freeway," Watkins said.


Many of the guidelines for the Adopt-A- Highway Liter-Removal Program wear not followed at all. When collecting litter, face oncoming traffic and be aware of passing traffic. Be alert to move quickly, if necessary. For safety reasons, members of participating group will not pick up liter within the roadways median or on inside shoulder. Again, NDOT personnel will handle these areas. Some reasons as to why a certain section may be unacceptable for adoption include; heavy traffic flow and narrow road side. Their were also no flaggers or cones.
The States negligence that played a major roll in the deaths of the six teenagers was not allowed as evidence in Jessicas trial, Nor were jurors allowed to view the accident scene at their request.


Jessica Williams[now 21years old] has been incarcerated at the Las Vegas county jail since March/19/2000 with a bail amout of five million.


Associated Pathologists Laboratories found 5.5, 5.1 and 4.8 nanograms of marijuana per milliliter of Williams' blood. State law dictates that 2 nanograms of marijuana must be found in a milliliter of blood in order for someone to be charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance. But experts for the prosecution and the defense have testified the limits are not intended to mark the point where a driver would be impaired. Her father maintains she was one of a large population of drivers who have latent amounts of marijuana in their system.
"Yes, she used marijuana in a limited fashion, on occasion, just like most people do -- and that's the damned truth," Steve Williams said. "If anybody is responsible for that, it's me,she was rarely without a book in her hand as she grew up in Utah, Arizona and California ;she's never been in trouble," her father said. "She was a model child -- sweet, helpful, charming, loving, honest."
She earned good grades at a high school just north of San Diego, and upon graduation her father paid for her to visit Europe.
She traveled to France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland, where one of her sisters resides.
She returned to this country one year later to attend the New York School of Interior Design, where she intended to develop her creative bent.
Steve Williams said his daughter left school after one year with the intention of traveling some more before resuming her education. "She found New York pretty confusing," he said.


Troopers at the scene of the March accident arranged for blood tests that detected marijuana, but did not run the battery of roadside tests police typically use to determine whether a driver is impaired. "I saw nothing in there that would have precluded a field sobriety test being administered to Miss Williams," said Redfairn, who investigates fatal accidents and instructs fellow officers on how to recognize the symptoms of drug use.
Webster said he used field tests in about 98 percent of the 2,500 driving under the influence arrests he has made during the past 12 years. Failure to administer the tests can leave a sober person unable to effectively defend a driving under the influence charge, he said.
"They would be at a severe disadvantage to proving their innocence," Webster said. Toxicologist Raymond Kelly, a prosecution witness, and Redfairn have testified that Williams likely fell asleep while driving her white Ford van back from the Valley of Fire.


Watkins presented testimony from American Medical Response employees who drove Williams from the scene to University Medical Center.
Paramedic Tammy Gomez and emergency medical technician Victor Montecerin said they did not believe Williams was under the influence of drugs.
Montecerin said her pulse and blood pressure were within the normal range. Redfairn testified he would expect elevated levels in a person impaired by marijuana or Ecstasy. An expert witness testified [Dan Berkabile] Jessica Williams was not affected by marijuana when her white Ford minivan drifted into the median of Interstate 15.
"My opinion is that she fell asleep," he said. Toxicologist David Andrenyak a defense witness told jurors he tested the same blood samples earlier this month and detected marijuana levels far below those found in the original tests performed in March by Associated Pathologists Laboratories. The highest level Andrenyak found in the same samples was 1.4 nanograms per milliliter.


Watkins has contended the 1999 law is unconstitutional because the maximum drug levels it prescribes do not correspond to any degree of impairment.
Another defense expert testified that the results obtained in tests performed by the state and the defense were so wildly disparate that both should be disregarded.
"Those numbers are unreliable," toxicologist Michael Peat said.
Following Peat to the stand was Chambers, a Henderson resident and UNLV faculty member who specializes in sleep studies.
"There aren't too many people who know what I know about sleep," he said.
The biological sleep patterns of Jessica Williams help explain the March accident in which six teen-agers were killed, an expert testified Tuesday.
Henderson psychologist Mark Chambers said the majority of the population goes to sleep at night and awakens in the morning, all in accordance with the natural rhythms of their bodies.
Williams, a self-described "night owl," is wired differently, he said. Her natural sleep cycle, or the period when her body wants to sleep, lasts from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This was a major factor in the 1:40 p.m. accident Williams' defense attributes to her falling asleep, Chambers said.
"The point at which she is at maximal sleepiness is at about 2 in the afternoon," the psychologist said. "From a biological point of view, the accident actually occurred in the middle of the night."
On cross-examination, Chambers said it was not true that adult drivers can be expected to know when they are tired and act accordingly. He said people are notoriously inept at gauging their own susceptibility to sleep. Also studies have consistently failed to show that marijuana causes people to become sleepier,"


The jurors found Jessica Williams guilty of driving with a prohibited substance ; She was not found guilty of driving under the influence!! And with the prohibited substance charge she faces a possible 120years behind bars!!
Counts 1-6Driving and/or being in actual physical control with a prohibitive substance in the blood. Felony. Guilty on all six counts
Counts 7-12 Involuntary manslaughter Not guilty on all counts
Counts 13-18 Reckless driving Not guilty on all counts
Count 19 Use of a controlled substance. Felony.Guilty
Count 20 Possession of a controlled substance. Felony. Guilty


Las Vegas
Many of you have asked how you can help Jessicas current situation. Well we finally have something you can assist with if you feel led to do so. We have set a goal of ONE THOUSAND LETTERS by March 28th for Jessicas sentencing. Pass this on to as many people as possible that are willing to express an opinion on the issues below. Jessicas attorney Jhon Watkins, has asked that we have as many letters sent as possible to Judge Mark Gibbons. Judge Gibbons will determine whether Jessica receives between 2 up to 120 years in prison on march 30th at her sentencing hearing. Attorney watkins has out lined the main points of focus:



A}LENIANCY IN SENTANCING
B}EXPRESS DISSATISFACTIONON THE STATUTORY LAW SHE WAS FOUND GUILTY ON. FELONY DUI BASED ON TRACE ELEMENTS IN THE BLOOD, NOT BEING IMPAIRED.
C}HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT HAVING MINORS ON FEDRAL INTERSTATE HIGHWAY {I-15} COLLECTING TRASH AS PART OF THE PROBATIONSERICE WORK PROGRAM, WHICH IS UNDER CLARK COUNTYS DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND YOUTH SERVICE.
D}HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT JESSICAS BEING SENTENCED TO PRISON AS A NON VIOLENT OFFENDER.
E}LASTELY, FEEL FREE TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINION ON ANY OTHER ISSUES YOU SEE RELATING TO THIS CASE.


Please write to Judge Gibbons and send a copy to Jhon Watkins. THE ADDRESS AS FOLLOWS:

DISTRICT COURT DEPT#7
JUDGE MARK GIBBONS
200 SOUTH THIRD STREET
LAS VEGAS NV 89155
PHONE#702-455-4662


FAX#702-386-9104


ATTORNEY AT LAW JHON WATKINS
804 SOUTH SIXTH STREET
LAS VEGAS NV 89101

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