Impaired driving and injuring another leads to jail, prison

Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Centralia area man is off to prison with a seven year sentence for hitting a pedestrian on a sidewalk with his car outside the Southwest Washington Fair grounds this summer.

Christian D. Brown, 30, admitted using methamphetamine earlier in the day, prosecutors said at the time.

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Wednesday August 16, 2017

Brown pleaded guilty in Lewis County Superior Court on Wednesday to vehicular assault and possession of heroin and also to two counts of drug possession from an earlier case.

The judge found a chemical dependency contributed to the crime and ordered a drug and alcohol evaluation, according to court documents.

Brown was arrested by Centralia police on Aug. 16, after the mid-day incident at the 1900 block of South Gold Street during fair week. Witnesses told police the car was going about 35 mph when it traveled onto the east sidewalk and hit the man.

When his car came to a stop, the victim fell off its hood, court documents related.

The victim, a 58-year-old Chehalis resident who was attending the fair with family, was airlifted with several traumatic injuries to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The 84-month sentence was the top of the standard sentencing range for vehicular assault, a range specific to Brown given the number of “points” Brown had accrued from previous criminal convictions, according to his lawyer Jacob Clark.

The judge ordered 24-month sentences for the drug crimes, to be served concurrently, Clark said.

Also on Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court, a 20-year-old defendant was sentenced by a different judge for vehicular assault while under the influence.

Brenden K. Banta, from Kalama, and his 17-year-old passenger from Woodland were both injured when Banta’s car ran into the back of a semi truck on northbound Interstate 5 near milepost 60 the night of April 21, according to authorities.

Banta admitted he had consumed a “few shots” and smoked a bowl prior, court documents stated.

Court documents relate the hood of his Kia Soul entered the right passenger compartment, causing a gash in the passenger’s forehead that exposed the skull.

Banta had an offender score of zero so the standard sentencing range for his conviction was three to nine months in jail. The judge imposed four months and ordered a drug and alcohol evaluation, according to court documents.
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For background, read “Bail set at $1 million for driver accused of hitting man on sidewalk” from Friday August 18, 2017, here

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