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DUI charge in fatal crash sent to grand jury


Charges against a woman accused of killing her friend while driving intoxicated more than seven months ago have been sent to a grand jury.

Amy Michelle Owens, 35, is charged with four felonies in connection with a June 18 crash in which 44-year-old Sharon Elizabeth Oxley was killed.

The crash occurred in the area of the Stafford Wayside on U.S. 1 near Carnaby Street.

Owens is charged with multiple offenses, including manslaughter, felony murder, driving while intoxicated, fourth offense, and driving while revoked for DUI.

Judge Michael Levy sent the case to circuit court following a preliminary hearing Friday in Stafford General District Court.

The evidence presented by prosecutor Andrea Stewart Friday showed that Owens, who has had three DUI convictions since 2004, had a high level of Xanax in her system at the time of the crash.

A witness told Trooper E.S. Frye that she was heading south on U.S. 1 about 10 p.m. that night when a 1990 Mazda 626 sped past her.

The car went from the left side of the road to the right shoulder, then back to the left again, where it struck a guardrail and went into a ravine.

The witness stopped and heard Oxley moaning, “help me, help me,” according to the evidence. Oxley was taken to a local hospital, where she died the next morning.

Frye testified that Owens told him she’d taken Xanax the previous day and Percocet that day before that. He said her speech was slurred, but she admitted being a drug addict.

Defense attorney Ben Woodbridge asked Levy not to certify the charges, saying the evidence was insufficient to show that Owens was under the  influence.

He noted that she was able to respond appropriately to the trooper’s questions.

Owens has been in jail since her arrest in June. Several attempts to get a bond have been unsuccessful.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404