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Woman gets two-year term connected to fatal rollover

Jun 17, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

A federal judge on Friday ordered an Ethete woman to serve two years in prison for being the intoxicated driver during a rollover crash on 17 Mile Road that killed a man.

During the hour-long sentencing in Cheyenne, U.S. District Judge Clarence A. Brimmer placed Michelle Crispin, 32, on three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $8,203 in restitution.

Crispin pleaded guilty on March 19 to involuntary manslaughter under an agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office related to the death of Mitchell James C'Hair Jr.

She was the intoxicated driver during the crash just before noon on Jan. 2 that killed the 27-year-old Ethete resident west of Arapahoe and the newly built bridge on 17 Mile Road.

C'Hair died at the crash scene. The fatal crash was the first one of the year in Fremont County.

A federal indictment by a grand jury dated Jan. 11 contained the single charge against Crispin that alleged she drove under the influence of alcohol during the crash.

The charge carried up to eight years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, according to the indictment.

Arrest records filed in Wyoming's U.S. District Court in Cheyenne show her warrant issued on Jan. 12 and FBI special agent Paul Swenson arrested her the next day at the Wind River Police Department in Fort Washakie.

She remained in jail during her prosecution. Brimmer recommended Crispin serve her sentence at a facility in Phoenix and participate in the prison's residential drug treatment program.

FBI media coordinator Dave Joly in Denver around the time of the crash reported that alcohol was a possible factor but not speed in the wreck.

Joly said the crash involved a single-cab truck with four occupants, with the other three suffering minor injuries.

The identities of the other occupants were not released.

The indictment accused Crispin of killing C'Hair "without malice but with wanton and reckless disregard for human life."

The charge also alleges she was under the influence and driving recklessly "while knowing of such circumstances as could reasonably have enabled her to foresee the peril to which her actions might subject others."

She had been set for a jury trial to start on March 26 in Cheyenne, but a plea agreement in the case surfaced in her court file on March 14.

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