The Clovis woman involved in a fatal car crash while she was allegedly drunk and pregnant gave birth while in custody last month, her attorney said.
Candice Ooley, 23, has been held at the Madera County jail after allegedly causing a crash on Highway 41 on May 20, killing one man and injuring two others.
In July, defense attorney Daniel K. Martin said, Ooley was taken to Madera Community Hospital, where she gave birth and spent four days bonding with her child. Martin did not know the child’s gender.
Ooley then returned to the jail and Ooley’s mother took custody of the child, Martin said.
Ooley, who has a prior DUI, faces charges of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter with gross bodily injury. She faces the possibility of more than 20 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
Martin said he expects the case to go to trial.
“I asked the prosecutor if they would consider an offer and they said, ‘No,’ ” Martin said.
Madera County District Attorney David Linn said his office wants Ooley to either go to trial or “plead the sheet,” meaning plead guilty to every charge.
Martin said he was unsure if Ooley’s child has been given any special medical care or treatment given the possibility the baby has fetal alcohol syndrome.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze that Ooley was driving crashed into the rear of a 2006 Hummer H3 while authorities say she had a 0.32 percent blood-alcohol content, four times the legal driving limit.
The Hummer lost control and went down an embankment, killing 47-year-old Federico Duarte Nunez Silva of Lemoore.
Martin said Ooley has expressed regret for her actions.
“Every time Candice makes a court appearance or I visit her at the jail, she’s beside herself – she just sobs uncontrollably,” he said.
“‘I’m just horrified about what happened. Someone’s dead. Someone’s not going to get Christmas with their family,’ ” Martin recalled Ooley saying to him.
Martin said the night of the accident, Ooley was fleeing her home in Clovis due to a domestic violence incident with the father of her child.
“She hops in the car, she stops to get liquor and is trying to cope with having been in this incident,” Martin said.
Linn said that being involved in a domestic violence incident isn’t a mitigating factor for a fatal DUI crash.
“Getting into a fight with your boyfriend doesn’t give you the right to drive drunk and kill people,” Linn said.
Ooley is scheduled to appear in Madera County Superior Court on Sept. 9 for a preliminary hearing, which will determine if their is enough evidence to go to trial.