No contest plea entered in fatal crash
NILES — A Niles woman faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced in March for driving drunk causing death. Kyriea Jade Demorrow, 23, of Niles, pleaded no contest last week to driving while intoxicated causing death.
Demorrow was arrested shortly after the Sept. 15 incident on felony charges of driving while intoxicated causing death and failure to stop at a personal injury accident causing death. The latter charge has been dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Demorrow was driving on Pokagon Highway in Berrien Township when she hit and killed bicyclist Todd Harrington, 32, of Berrien Springs. The police report indicated that Harrington was struck from behind. She was arrested shortly after the incident as a witness observed the accident and retrieved her license plate number.
Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputies went to her Knott Road home in Niles Township where they found her visibly intoxicated and the vehicle damaged on the passenger side. She told them that she had been drinking and had just driven from St. Joseph to Niles. She was not wearing any shoes and told deputies that she often drove without shoes.
Defense attorney Jack Banyon said his client is pleading no contest because of both civil liability and a lack of memory due to her level of intoxication. Her blood alcohol level was tested and found to be .229, which is nearly three times the legal limit. She was also found to have traces of marijuana in her blood.
The plea agreement announced last week calls for Demorrow to plead no contest to the drunk driving causing death charge with the failure to stop at personal injury accident causing death dismissed. The agreement does not include a sentencing recommendation.
She faces a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced March 18 by Judge Charles LaSata in Berrien County Trial Court. She had been set to go to trial this week. She remains free on bond on $15,000 cash or surety bond awaiting sentencing.