A Bend woman shot multiple times by police after leading them on a wild, drunken car chase was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail.
Danielle Bower, 28, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and reckless endangerment for the incident on March 9th.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said last month the officers were justified when they fired 14 rounds at Bower following the chase that started at the St. Charles hospital parking lot in Bend and ended near Brothers.
In court Friday, Hummel reiterated an investigation’s findings that the events were triggered by an alcohol-fueled fight at Bower’s home.
Bower sustained a broken nose and brain injury that may have contributed to her irrational behavior. Her blood alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit three hours after the incident began.
In April, Hummel released a nine-page report detailing the bizarre events.
Hummel’s report details the night started with Bower, her fiancee Stephen Horne and a friend, Joshua Mondragon, getting together for drinks at Bower’s home.
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Police got involved around 2:45 a.m. when a security guard at St. Charles alerted police to Bower, who had arrived there bloodied.
When police tried to talk to the woman and ask her if she was OK, Hummel said she fled from police, starting a lengthy chase in which she was swerving from curb to curb and across lanes of traffic, stretching from Downtown Bend to Pinebrook Boulevard, 15th street and eventually to Highway 20 East toward Brothers.
It ended around 4 a.m. on the side of a snowy road about 40 miles from Bend when Bower was shot and injured.
She was struck four or five times when officers believed she was trying to back up her minivan to strike one of them after driving into a ditch.
The officers involved rushed Bower toward Bend in their patrol car before meeting an ambulance to carry her the rest of the way.
“Exemplary work by law enforcement. The efforts to save officer Unmitz’s life were unfortunately necessary,” Hummel said Friday. “But they were necessary, the two officers who shot. Once they saved officer Unmitz’s life they immediately went into mode of saving Ms. Bower’s life. I’m confident that if those two skilled officers, Sgt. Russell and Officer Williams were not the two officers that were there, the results to Ms. Bower’s may have been a lot worse.”
Judge Allison Emerson said she had never seen or heard of a felony elude case with facts as bad as this one.
“I just can’t justify the amount of risk you created for this community,” she said. “I think there has to be a sanction for the behavior that you exhibited on that night.”
“All officers involved carry that trauma from that night. Their families carry that trauma,” Hummel said. “My thoughts go out to them but also my praise goes out to them. They are top-notch officers and I am proud to work them.”
Bower lost her driver’s license for 90 days, paid a $100 fine and must serve 150 hours of community service.
She’ll begin her sentence later this month.