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HomeNewsArchivesWilliams Advised of Rights in Vehicular Homicide Case

Williams Advised of Rights in Vehicular Homicide Case

On Monday, tire tracks showed the spot along Weymouth Rhymer Highway where police say Karen J. Williams' car went onto the sidewalk, killing two young women and critically injuring a third.

Accused of driving under the influence and hitting three young women who were exercising on Sunday morning, Karen J. Williams stood before V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Kathleen Mackay on Monday with bleary, blood-shot eyes.

Mackay advised Williams, a 33-year-old unemployed mother of four who lives in Sugar Estate, of her rights on charges that include two counts of felony vehicular homicide, one count of driving under the influence and one count of reckless driving in connection with Sunday’s accident, which claimed the lives of 17-year-old Aliya Robles and 18-year-old Jolicia Wilson.

V.I. Police Department officials reported Sunday that the third victim, 18-year-old Shatina Garnette, was transported to Schneider Regional Medical Center with critical injuries. In a press release issued Monday afternoon, Gov. John deJongh Jr. said Garnette is now being treated at an off-island facility.

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Prior to Sunday’s accident, Williams had no criminal arrests or convictions, according to a probable cause fact sheet filed Monday in V.I. Superior Court by Officer LuWanda Chandler.

What Happened?

It was around 5 a.m. Sunday morning when Williams, who was driving east on Weymouth Rhymer Highway, lost control of her 1998 Honda Accord, Chandler said.

Just past Rhymer Highway’s intersection with and Donoe Road, Williams drove up onto the sidewalk to her left. She struck the three young women, hit a speed limit sign, spun around and collided with a utility pole, where the car came to rest, police officials said.

According to Chandler, Williams also struck a guardrail on the side of the road at some point.

Chandler said when officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Robles, who was already dead, 26.4 feet from the point of impact. They found Wilson 16.7 feet from the point of impact. Wilson died on the way to Schneider Regional Medical Center.

Officers found Garnette 28.2 feet from the point of impact, in an area which on Monday afternoon was still littered with bits of broken-off car parts.

Chandler said, that according to officers, the driver “had a strong smell of alcohol on her breath and person.”

According to Chandler, Williams failed a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer indicated her blood alcohol concentration was .161 – or just over than double the territory’s legal driving limit of .08.

What Comes Next?

Mackay told Williams that she could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $1,000 for each charge of vehicular homicide. Williams could be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined between $600 to $1,000 for driving under the influence, and she could face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 for the reckless driving charge, Mackay said.

Mackay suspended Williams’ drivers license for 90 days, saying it was the maximum amount of time allowed under V.I. Code.

Mackay set Williams’ bail at $25,000 and said she could be released after posting 10 percent.

“She may not be a flight risk, but she is a danger to the community,” Mackay said.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, Williams had not posted bail.

Mackay set Williams’ arraignment for 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9.

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On Monday, tire tracks showed the spot along Weymouth Rhymer Highway where police say Karen J. Williams' car went onto the sidewalk, killing two young women and critically injuring a third.

Accused of driving under the influence and hitting three young women who were exercising on Sunday morning, Karen J. Williams stood before V.I. Superior Court Magistrate Judge Kathleen Mackay on Monday with bleary, blood-shot eyes.

Mackay advised Williams, a 33-year-old unemployed mother of four who lives in Sugar Estate, of her rights on charges that include two counts of felony vehicular homicide, one count of driving under the influence and one count of reckless driving in connection with Sunday's accident, which claimed the lives of 17-year-old Aliya Robles and 18-year-old Jolicia Wilson.

V.I. Police Department officials reported Sunday that the third victim, 18-year-old Shatina Garnette, was transported to Schneider Regional Medical Center with critical injuries. In a press release issued Monday afternoon, Gov. John deJongh Jr. said Garnette is now being treated at an off-island facility.

Prior to Sunday's accident, Williams had no criminal arrests or convictions, according to a probable cause fact sheet filed Monday in V.I. Superior Court by Officer LuWanda Chandler.

What Happened?

It was around 5 a.m. Sunday morning when Williams, who was driving east on Weymouth Rhymer Highway, lost control of her 1998 Honda Accord, Chandler said.

Just past Rhymer Highway's intersection with and Donoe Road, Williams drove up onto the sidewalk to her left. She struck the three young women, hit a speed limit sign, spun around and collided with a utility pole, where the car came to rest, police officials said.

According to Chandler, Williams also struck a guardrail on the side of the road at some point.

Chandler said when officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Robles, who was already dead, 26.4 feet from the point of impact. They found Wilson 16.7 feet from the point of impact. Wilson died on the way to Schneider Regional Medical Center.

Officers found Garnette 28.2 feet from the point of impact, in an area which on Monday afternoon was still littered with bits of broken-off car parts.

Chandler said, that according to officers, the driver “had a strong smell of alcohol on her breath and person.”

According to Chandler, Williams failed a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer indicated her blood alcohol concentration was .161 – or just over than double the territory's legal driving limit of .08.

What Comes Next?

Mackay told Williams that she could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $1,000 for each charge of vehicular homicide. Williams could be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined between $600 to $1,000 for driving under the influence, and she could face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 for the reckless driving charge, Mackay said.

Mackay suspended Williams' drivers license for 90 days, saying it was the maximum amount of time allowed under V.I. Code.

Mackay set Williams' bail at $25,000 and said she could be released after posting 10 percent.

“She may not be a flight risk, but she is a danger to the community,” Mackay said.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, Williams had not posted bail.

Mackay set Williams' arraignment for 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9.