Preliminary hearing held in vehicular homicide
Date posted: June 13, 2014
By Tracee Davis
The Sheridan Press
SHERIDAN — A woman accused of killing a bicyclist and injuring another May 31 appeared in Sheridan County Circuit Court Friday for her initial appearance, and it was determined her case would be bound over to Sheridan’s 4th Judicial District Court. Hannah M. Terry, 34, has remained incarcerated in the Sheridan County Detention Center after being assigned a $20,000 cash-only bond by Judge Shelley Cundiff.
Terry is charged with aggravated homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence of a controlled substance causing serious bodily injury.
Both felony charges carry a combined possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
On the date of the accident, Terry’s vehicle left the roadway and struck the two bicyclists. Sheridan resident Larry Hurst, 65, was killed and his wife, Sara Hurst, was air lifted to Billings, Montana, for medical treatment.
Terry told officers on the scene that she had taken two narcotic pain medications for a back problem. She failed a field sobriety test.
Sheridan County Attorney and Prosecutor Matt Redle called two witnesses to the stand to establish probable cause for continuance of the case. The first was Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper David Motsic.
Motsic was a law enforcement officer on duty and called to the crash site of the incident in question. He testified about what he saw at the scene of the accident, including skid marks from the minivan driven by Terry and the bicycles that were struck. He said the hood to the minivan was damaged and the front windshield of the vehicle had been broken. He also noted evidence at the crash scene led him to believe the point of impact occurred in the middle of the emergency lane of travel, which is approximately 8-feet wide.
He indicated it appeared the bicycles had been hit from the back.
“The bikes were severely broken,” Motsic said, indicating both had broken frames and the back tires were missing.
Motsic also testified that he had learned that Larry Hurst was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and an autopsy performed in Billings, Montana, revealed he had died from blunt force trauma and a broken neck.
Motsic said he has also learned that Sara Hurst had broken bones in her leg and pelvis, two collapsed lungs and severe bleeding.
Motsic further testified he believed Terry was intoxicated based on her incoherence during conversation at the scene of the crime.
The second witness Redle called to the stand was Sheridan Police Department Officer Kelly Walsh, a drug recognition expert.
Walsh testified that he also believed Terry was intoxicated, because she was unable to satisfactorily complete a “walk and turn” test and was unable to stand on one leg for more than a few seconds.
Terry indicated to investigators she had taken medications at approximately 6 a.m. that day.
Walsh said he did not perform an entire drug recognition test on Terry in a controlled environment after she was arrested because she refused.
Walsh testified that Terry told him she was tired of him “hunting and fishing” to make her look worse than she already did.
Terry did submit to a blood toxicology test, but the results of that test were not revealed at the hearing.
Motsic was called back to the stand a second time to relay information to the court that WHP was informed by the SPD a few days after the incident that Terry had left her purse at the Dollar Tree in Sheridan. Motsic indicated he opened the purse and superficially looked inside it. He reported seeing items that looked like a wallet or billfold, a book and multiple bottles consistent with the type of container used to dispense prescription medications.
Terry’s arraignment in district court will be scheduled at a later date.