SHERIDAN — A woman who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide was sentenced to 16 years maximum in prison in 4th Judicial District Court May 18, 2018.
Jennifer O’Neil Thomas faced one count of aggravated homicide by vehicle after allegedly driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.17 percent.
On June 12, 2016, Wyoming Highway Patrol responded to a one-vehicle rollover crash on Highway 14/16 near milepost 33 in Sheridan County.
Thomas told law enforcement she and her boyfriend, later identified as John Ipes, had been drinking in Buffalo the night before and then drove around 2:30 a.m. to visit a friend in Clearmont. Thomas said she had two and a half drinks in Buffalo before they left.
The friend was not home, so the couple slept in the car until 5:30 a.m. and left Clearmont for Buffalo at approximately 5:50 a.m.
Thomas said she swerved to miss a deer, lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Thomas was wearing her seatbelt. A post-mortem examination of Ipes concluded he died from multiple blunt traumatic injuries secondary to ejection in a motor vehicle crash.
A blood sample taken from Thomas at the scene and submitted to the Wyoming Department of Health Chemical Testing Program indicated Thomas’ blood alcohol level to be 0.17 percent, 0.09 percent over the legal limit.
Following an April 12, 2018, change of plea to guilty for aggravated homicide by vehicle, Thomas received an eight- to 16-year prison sentence with the Wyoming Department of Corrections with 234 days credit. Thomas is also required to pay $2,632.50 in restitution.