A Powell Butte woman will serve five years in prison for being high on methamphetamine the night she caused a traffic crash that killed her boyfriend and injured her young daughter.
Samantha Lou Toews, 26, appeared at a sentencing hearing Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court and admitted guilt to three criminal charges — criminally negligent homicide, fourth-degree assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
In addition to the prison term, Toews’ driving privileges were revoked for life and she was ordered to pay a $10,000 compensatory fine to the family of her victim, Jason Lee House, 36.
On March 5, 2018, Toews was driving west on Powell Butte Highway in her 2006 Hyundai Tucson. House was in the passenger seat and Toews’ daughter was seated in the back. As she approached the intersection with McGrath Road, Toews entered the opposite lane and rolled the car several times.
House, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was thrown clear from the vehicle. Toews and her daughter were buckled in.
Toews was uncharged for nine months until lab work came back from the state crime lab and the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office charged Toews with second-degree manslaughter.
Sentencing hearings are often emotional events, especially in homicide cases. But Monday’s sentencing was brief and procedural, according to Toews’ attorney, Aaron Brenneman.
“The hearing (Monday) was really just to put the judgment on the record,” Brenneman said. “All the parties were able to express what they wanted beforehand.”
Representatives of the victim addressed Toews behind closed doors in a June 15 settlement conference in the office of Judge A. Michael Adler.
House’s mother did not attend Monday’s sentencing but did appear at the settlement conference, where Toews apologized to her, Brenneman said.
“She deeply regrets her decisions that day,” he said. “She’s remorseful for what she did and the impact it had on Jason’s family and her family, as well.”
House was a Bend resident who had two sons.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, email@example.com