Arizona Woman Receives Maximum Sentence for Involuntary Manslaughter

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Carolee Bourke, 33, of Whiteriver, Ariz., was sentenced here today by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton to six years in federal prison. Bourke pleaded guilty on July 23, 2008 to Involuntary Manslaughter and Assault Resulting in Bodily Injury for causing a vehicle crash in which one person died.

On October 27, 2007, Bourke was under the influence of alcohol and drugs when she drove her vehicle in Canyon Day, Ariz., on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation. In the car with Bourke was her infant daughter when Bourke crossed the center line and struck another vehicle. The female driver of the other car was severely injured and the passenger, the driver’s mother, died as a result of her injuries.

At sentencing, Judge Bolton cited Bourke’s 10-year history of tribal convictions for public intoxication, DUI, assault, interference with an officer and domestic violence when she sentenced Bourke to the maximum penalty allowed under federal law for Involuntary Manslaughter – six years in federal prison. Bourke was also sentenced to six years for Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, which will run concurrently to her sentence on the manslaughter charge. Upon release from prison, Bourke will be on supervised release for three years. While on supervised release, Bourke must abstain from all use of alcohol and participate in substance abuse counseling.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The prosecution was handled by Alison S. Bachus, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-317(Bourke)

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