Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter

Tuesday, April 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A woman faces a minimum of four years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in a July 4 drunken-driving accident.

Regina Lynn Crowels, 22, also pleaded guilty Monday to leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Investigators said Crowels was driving a Chevrolet Blazer that collided with a car driven by Dorothy Tillis in the Tulsa city limits around 9:45 p.m. July 4.

Tillis, 70, had gone out to watch fireworks and was returning to her Tulsa home, a family member said previously.

A passer-by said an upset Crowels, who had blood on her face and was carrying a 3-year-old girl, asked him for a ride to a relative's nearby residence.

The man gave her the ride and later showed police where he had dropped off the pair, according to testimony at the preliminary hearing.

Officer Anna Cowdrey said she detected the ``overwhelmingly powerful smell of alcohol'' on Crowels and arrested her.

Crowels was charged with first-degree manslaughter and leaving the scene of the wreck, both felonies. She also was charged with misdemeanor counts of driving with a revoked license, transporting an open container of beer and failing to use a child-restraint system.

The allegation of driving under the influence was part of the manslaughter charge.

At the time of the crash, an arrest warrant was outstanding for Crowels concerning a prior DUI case, prosecutors have said.

A Tulsa County judge ordered Crowels jailed until sentencing May 31. She had been free on bail.