CHP officers testify in preliminary hearing of woman accused of causing deadly DUI crash near Tulare

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Cheyenne Wyllie is accused of being behind the wheel during a DUI crash that killed a 69-year-old woman and her 10-year-old granddaughter. (KFSN)

Family members shielded Cheyenne Wyllie from cameras at the Tulare County courthouse Tuesday.

She's currently not in custody, and Action News wasn't allowed to show Wyllie or her lawyer in the courtroom during her preliminary hearing.

Wyllie is charged with two counts of murder, one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs causing injury, and one count of driving with a .08 or above blood alcohol level causing injury - all of which are felonies.

Last March, prosecutors say she drove drunk, blew through a stop sign and plowed into a Honda Pilot carrying a family from Las Vegas.

The crash killed 69-year-old Angelita Espinosa and her granddaughter, 10-year-old Jamie Espinosa. In court, California Highway Patrol officer Christopher Mellow was asked to recall the chaotic crash scene outside of Tulare.

He was the first police officer on scene and spoke with Wyllie about what happened. Mellow says she told him she was on her way to her dad's house in Tulare, but she was disoriented and pointed in the wrong direction.

"I think at one point I actually pointed to the northwest, and she said no, she was going, again pointing to the east, about this time was when Officer Lee arrived on the scene," he told the court.

Once on scene, Officer Lee also spoke to Wyllie and said he smelled alcohol on her breath.

"She told me she had consumed two Michelob ULTRAs," the officer testified.

Lee then performed a series of field sobriety tests on Wyllie near the crash scene. He ultimately determined Wyllie caused the crash by blowing the stop sign while under the influence.

"The counting wasn't as explained as demonstrated," Lee said. "The defendant counted one, two, three, four, five, instead of 1,000-1, 1,000-2 as I explained."

The crash left George Espinosa, the driver of the Honda and the father of Jamie, seriously injured. Lee said it's his understanding that George spent months in the hospital and has had numerous surgeries.

The preliminary hearing will continue on Wednesday with witness testimony. Wyllie faces 37 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Related Topics:
CHPdrunk driving deathtulare countycourt caseTulare
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