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Woman changes plea in fatal 2010 car crash

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:34 p.m. HST, May 30, 2013

A 25-year-old woman who killed her friend in a one-car crash in Pupukea more than two years ago pleaded guilty in state court this morning to negligent homicide and driving without a license.

Brittany Poole faces a maximum 10-year prison term for the negligent homicide and 30-day jail term for driving without a licence at sentencing in August. She entered her guilty pleas without the benefit of a deal with the prosecutor.

“She knows she made a series of very poor choices. Unique was her friend, a very dear friend. And she’s dealing with that every day,” said Steven Nichols, Poole’s lawyer.

Unique Murray, 21, died Nov. 21, 2010 when he was ejected from the back seat of the car Poole was driving.

The prosecutor said Poole was speeding, drinking beer and smoking marijuana while driving around the island with four passengers. She lost control of her car while arguing with her front seat passenger about her speeding, the prosecutor said.

Police said the car crossed the center line of Kamehameha Highway, hit a rock wall, a parked vehicle and two fences, went airborne and flipped over before slamming into a carport. Poole’s blood-alcohol content was 0.09 and police estimate her car was traveling 69 to 70 mph before the crash in a 25 mph zone. 

The legal threshold for drunk driving is 0.08 percent blood-alcohol.

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment charging Poole with negligent homicide and driving without a license in August 2011.

Police were not able to locate Poole to arrest her on the charges until last September.

Nichols said Poole was homeless at the time and didn’t know she had been charged and that police were looking for her. He said that since her arrest, Poole has checked herself into a two-year residential substance abuse treatment program.

Poole has a July 2009 DUI conviction, four speeding convictions in 2009 and 2010 -- one for driving 22 mph over the speed limit and another one for driving 21 mph over the speed limit -- convictions in 2010 for driving without a license and for driving with an instructional permit unaccompanied by a licensed driver, according to state court records. She had another driving without a license charge pending at the time of the crash.

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Sunny wrote:
Based on her prior DUI, speeding, driving without a license convictions, she still drove, sped, killed her friend and evaded arrest. She should be sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison, I will not be surprised to here about her again, hopefully she doesn't kill or injure another person!
on May 30,2013 | 12:52PM
Mana07 wrote:
Unique Murray was an adult and just as responsible for his own death as Poole was. Any fool in the car with her was surely drinking and smoking as well. I am not trying to lessen her responsibility but too often in these situations we blame only the driver...any adult in the car CHOSE to be in the car.
on May 30,2013 | 09:01PM
50skane wrote:
10 years locked up should help her think about how to change her life when she gets out. She should have her license revoked a long time ago before the fatal accident.
on May 30,2013 | 12:56PM
Sunny wrote:
This girl will drive with or without a license, she has no sense of responsibility!
on May 30,2013 | 01:03PM
WKAMA wrote:
Driving without a license is not too big a problem, but speeding, drinking and smoking pot at the same time...was she having sex too?
on May 30,2013 | 03:29PM
allie wrote:
on May 30,2013 | 01:36PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Nope. Not in Hawaii. Unless of course it happens to a lawmaker's child or a judge's offspring. THEN you'll see some punishment doled out.
on May 30,2013 | 03:02PM
pakeheat wrote:
You reap what you sow, isn't that the truth?
on May 30,2013 | 01:31PM
Bully wrote:
Too bad the courts didn't lock her up before she killed her friend.
on May 30,2013 | 01:56PM
kuewa wrote:
So, she was indicted almost 1 year after the incident, then succeeded in evading arrest for almost another year. All of this despite her prior convictions. Was she initially released on bail? Did HPD even try to find her? And why isn't she charged with skipping bail and/or evading arrest?
on May 30,2013 | 01:58PM
HD36 wrote:
In Japan, your license to drive is revoked forever after 1 DUI. Even your friends you dirink with are responsible if they let you drive knowing you're drunk.
on May 30,2013 | 02:46PM
bullturd wrote:
I cannot imagine the grief this young lady is going through.Taking responsibility for her transgression is a good start. Star/Advertiser 69 to 70 mph, Really!
on May 30,2013 | 04:04PM
Hawaiians wrote:
What a burden to live with, but is she stupid enough to do it again? Time to lose the license for life.
on May 30,2013 | 04:50PM
pakeheat wrote:
She still could drive without a license, she done it before. How about using that breath analyzing starter installed in the car?
on May 30,2013 | 08:46PM
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