SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane woman was convicted and sentenced for this drunk driving crash that killed a pedestrian in January 2016.
Meegan Vanderburg, 43, was convicted for vehicular manslaughter but remains out of jail.
A judge sentenced her to roughly eight years in prison. Vanderburgh was out of custody during her trial on bond and stayed out of jail while she awaited her sentencing.
This is not the first time this has happened. Carrah Goble was convicted of vehicular homicide for the wrong way drunk driving crash on I-90 and stayed out of custody until her sentencing. Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell explained there is a statute that allows this.
"For conviction of a felony a defendant will, it says shall be detained unless," Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell.
The unless part leaves room the defendant's attorney to make an argument that they are not a flight risk and they do not pose a risk to the community. Meaning, there is no need to throw them in jail immediately after a guilty verdict. Regardless, prosecutors almost always argue if someone is found guilty they should be arrested at that time.
"We'll typically make a motion that the defendant no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence, they've been found guilty by a judge or guilty by a jury we ask that the defendant be taken into custody pending sentencing," Haskell explained.
In the case of Vanderburgh, she is out of prison on appeal. A judge ruled she can be out on bond while she appeals her conviction. Prosecutors said that is not common but it is allowed under state law.
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