Driver Plead Not Guilty and Did Not Appear in Court Wednesday
Shantel Witt, 41, is accused of hitting 38-year-old Marika Stone of Bend with her pickup truck as Stone was cycling with two other people in late December. Stone died of her injuries.
Witt was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday and friends, family and local cyclists filled the courtroom to support the Stone family. However, just before 9 a.m. it was announced to the packed courtroom that Witt’s case would not be called.
Witt entered a plea of not guilty out of court and Deschutes County Court scheduled Witt’s trial for January 29, 2019.
During Witt’s January hearing, deputy district attorney Kari Hathorn said Witt had briefly drove off after hitting Stone but returned to the scene to yell at Stone’s surviving companions.
Witt also failed three field sobriety tests at the scene and acknowledged to officers that she took painkillers and muscle relaxers, according to court records. Officers found empty beer cans, prescription drugs and a 9mm pistol in her vehicle.
The woman who allegedly struck and killed a cyclist is now on house arrest and banned from consuming any alcohol until her arraignment in February.
Shantel Lynn Witt, 41, of Alfalfa had her first hearing today after she was arrested on Dec. 30 and charged with DUII, three counts of Recklessly Endangering Another, Reckless Driving and Manslaughter in the First Degree.
Witt was allegedly driving under the influence on the evening of Dec. 30 when her car crossed over into the opposite lane and struck 38-year-old Marika Stone who was biking with two other people near the corner of Dodds and Obernolte Road in Deschutes County. Stone was declared dead at the scene.
Roughly 30 local cyclists and community members attended today’s hearing to support Stone’s family.
Witt’s bail was set at $270,000. She posted 10 percent of this amount and, per Oregon law, was released from jail. During her first court appearance on Tuesday, the state attorney asked that Witt’s bail be increased, that she be put on house arrest, that she be given an alcohol monitor and that her driving privileges be revoked.
The judge did not raise Witt’s bail but he did agree to revoke Witt’s driving privileges. The judge also ordered Witt to wear an alcohol monitor, banned from purchasing or consuming alcohol and put on house arrest.
Witt will be back in court for her arraignment on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. and many of the local cyclists said they’ll be back again to support Stone’s family and represent Bend’s biking community.