Woman pleads guilty in hit-and-run case
She helped her husband flee scene of fatal crash
Thursday, May 31, 2012
A Vancouver woman who helped her husband flee a crash that ultimately killed his passenger pleaded guilty Thursday to rendering criminal assistance and making a false statement to a public servant.
A charge of serving as an accomplice to felony hit and run was dismissed as part of a plea bargain. Sarah Dawn Graham, 37, will serve 20 days on a jail work crew.
Clark County Superior Court Judge Scott Collier imposed an additional 344-day suspended sentence, meaning the punishment is ordered only if she violates the law again.
Graham picked her husband, Jason Brock Graham, 37, up from a crash that severely injured his passenger on Oct. 16, 2010. Harold Sloan Blanchard, 27, died about a week later from his injuries.
Prosecutors allege that following the crash, Jason Graham left the scene on foot before paramedics and deputies arrived. He called his wife from his cellphone to pick him up.
When Sarah Graham drove into the area, she was stopped by a sheriff's deputy, who told her she needed to take a detour around the crash scene. During
the conversation, court papers allege, she told the deputy she was visiting friends in the area.
She picked her husband up east of the crash scene and drove him to a nearby hospital, where he was put under observation for possible injuries. He was met by deputies and allegedly admitted to not contacting emergency personnel following the crash, according to court papers.
Jason Graham pleaded guilty May 11 to hit-and-run death and bail jumping. Graham is scheduled to be sentenced June 15 and faces a sentence of either 4 years or 10 years in prison, depending on a dispute over his number of prior convictions.