Onetime accused child killer Megan Martzen arrested for DUI and damage

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The Reedley woman accused of killing a toddler she was babysitting in 2009 is facing new DUI charges. (KFSN)

The Reedley woman accused of killing a toddler she was babysitting in 2009 is facing new DUI charges.

Megan Martzen accepted involuntary manslaughter charges and no jail time after a hung jury in her murder trial.

Pictures and home video clearly show the ugly aftermath. An SUV flipped upside-down on Olive after crashing into a parked car and setting off a chain reaction collision damaging a few more cars and trucks.

"We heard a loud crash," said a witness who didn't want to be identified. "We came out and all the neighbors were out. We heard somebody yelling she was still in the car. My husband jumped the fence to go get her out."

The "her" here was the driver, Martzen -- also known as Megan Teso or Megan Roque. Police say the 26-year-old failed field sobriety tests, and a breath test showed she was well above the legal limit after they responded to a 911 call.

"She was absolutely working with our officers and made some admissions," said Fresno Police Capt. Mike Reid. "We brought her down here and made sure she was booked."

Martzen's been booked before, back in 2009. Reedley police arrested her and prosecutors charged her with the murder of Ella VanLeeuwen, a 17-month-old she babysat. She spent 52 days in jail, but eventually raised enough money to bail out. At trial, her defense convinced most of the jurors previous injuries from accidents could've killed Ella.

Martzen took a plea deal afterwards, getting three years of probation for involuntary manslaughter. She's been off probation for almost a year.

Back then, Ella's parents told Action News they forgave Megan for what happened, and after her DUI, Todd VanLeeuwen told us "I pray that all involved in this incident are okay and get the help that they need."

Martzen refused medical attention at the scene and nobody was in the cars she's accused of hitting. But because of the damage and how drunk they thought she looked, witnesses to the crash told Action News none of them thought Martzen should get off so easily when they heard police offering to let her go after giving her a citation.

"Everybody freaked out and said that's not okay," said one neighbor. "She's drunk. She could've killed people. She needs to go to jail."

Martzen's attorney in the DUI case hasn't received the police reports, but she gave us this statement:

"In 2010, Megan was falsely accused of a crime that she did not commit. She was arrested and put in jail where she was forced to suffer threats and abuse from other inmates while she was 5 months pregnant.

She had her newborn son literally taken from her arms and fought relentlessly to have him returned to her custody. She endured a lengthy and costly court battle, after which the jury returned a hung verdict.

She later entered into a plea deal after she and her family were both emotionally and financially depleted by the first trial.

Megan, her son, and her entire family are now marked with the stigma of what that plea meant to the public.

Now Megan is faced with new allegations, for which we have not even begun to learn the facts. Until all of the facts are known, we ask that everyone please reserve judgment and respect the privacy of Megan and her family."

Megan is scheduled for a court date in June.

Related Topics:
child deathDUIarrestfresno countyReedley
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