LOGAN — A judge has sentenced Eska M. Bird to jail, saying he hoped he was doing the right thing. Judge Brian Cannell ordered the 43-year-old Logan woman to serve one-year for each of the four charges she pleaded guilty to, allowing the sentences to run concurrently.
Bird appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning after pleading guilty in October to attempted manslaughter, a third-degree felony, and three misdemeanors of reckless endangerment.
On the night of October 28, 2016, Bird was driving south on Main Street in Smithfield when her car went into oncoming traffic near 850 S. She hit three other vehicles, one that broad-sided Bird’s vehicle on the passenger side, causing significant injuries to her husband, 52-year-old William Bird.
William, along with four other people, were taken to hospitals. He died a month later from his injuries. Bird was not injured and allegedly tested positive for prescription medications.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, defense attorney Shannon Demler told the court that the brakes on Bird’s car malfunctioned that night, partly causing the crash. He said his client was remorseful and trying to turn her life around.
Bird tearfully told the court that she didn’t want to drive on the night of the crash, but was tired of the yelling and fighting with William that happened earlier. She explained that their relationship was a roller coaster of highs and lows. She asked for leniency and said she would never forget what she did.
State attorney Barbara Lachmar said Bird should not be given a lighter sentence, instead arguing that she should be sent to prison. She told the court how Bird was driving at least 100 mph just before the crash. She said the defendant’s recklessness was similar to someone walking into a crowd of people with a gun and opening fire. She explained how some of the victims were returning from a dance and were scattered along the road like “bowling pins.”
Judge Cannell said he was sentencing Bird to jail because he feared the prison’s board of pardons would release her in less than a year. He gave her credit for time already served in jail but refused to allow work release for 90-days. He also ordered her to serve 300-hours of community service and pay full restitution to the victims. He said her behavior was criminal and he hoped the victims felt he had done the right thing.
Bird is expected to report to jail by Thursday night. She is scheduled to appear again in court for a restitution and review hearing on January 2.
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