Jeffrey Lewellen, the Clinton man accused of causing a collision that killed a Lake Stevens woman on a moped last month, has pleaded “not guilty” to vehicular homicide.
He was arraigned before Judge Vickie Churchill in Island County Superior Court on Monday. The hearing only last a few minutes. Lewellen, dressed in orange jail attire and shackled, was escorted into the courtroom by a bailiff. Standing with his attorney, Steve McKay, Lewellen entered his plea. McKay and Churchill discussed scheduling of future appearances, and Lewellen was escorted out.
He remains in custody at the jail in Coupeville. Bail is set at $150,000.
Lewellen, 30, was charged June 1 with the death of Diane Sturlaugson, 69. The vehicular homicide charge offers three potential causes: driving in a reckless manner, driving under the influence, and driving with disregard for the safety of others.
Depending on the cause, he could spend up to 138 months in prison under the standard sentencing range.
The accident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on Memorial Day. According to police, Lewellen was westbound on Bailey Road at a high rate of speed in a 1996 silver Honda Civic when he collided with Sturlaugson. Lewellen was allegedly in the eastbound lane at the time when the accident occurred.
According to a report by a Washington State Patrol trooper, Lewellen admitted fault and voluntarily participated in field sobriety tests. Based on the results, he was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide.
Sturlaugson was reportedly visiting Whidbey for her 50th wedding anniversary. She was not alone at the time of the crash; a family member was riding on another moped behind her.
Lewellen was also not alone. Two other people were in the car with him. They fled the scene before police arrived. Authorities know their identities, but they aren’t being charged with a crime.