WSU student DUI case set for trial

Suspect in DUI case released

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen reporter

The WSU student who was arrested on suspicion of a hit-and-run DUI accident during parents’ weekend now has a set trial date.

Police said Carmen E. Fernandez, 19, on Nov. 12 hit two students by the Grove apartments and was arrested for felony vehicular assault, hit-and-run and DUI.

Fernandez was released from jail Nov. 15 and is awaiting a trial that will be held on Feb. 13. Fernandez plead not guilty to her charges at her arraignment court hearing on Nov. 18.

At a hearing on Nov. 16 where Denis Tracy, the Whitman County prosecuting attorney, filed charges including two counts of vehicular assault, one for each pedestrian Fernandez allegedly struck. Two counts of felony hit-and-run, one for each pedestrian, one for each pedestrian struck by Fernandez and one misdemeanor involving property damage to a fire hydrant and street light, Tracy said.

Fernandez had an initial appearance and the case is filed and pending adjudication, said Aaron Breshears, operations manager for the Pullman Police Department.

The prosecutor’s office can go through a variety of processes in the legal system; whether it ends up as a plea, they could drop charges, Breshears said.

“I don’t see that happening in this case, but that is an option that happens anytime a criminal case is filed,” Breshears said.

On Nov. 14 the judge set a $10,000 bond or a $1,000 cash bail. The judge also required her, as a condition of her pretrial release, to wear an ankle monitor which monitors her location and if she consumes alcohol, Tracy said.

“It generally takes quite a while for these [cases] to be resolved,” Breshears said.

Fernandez was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority, Sigma Tau chapter, at WSU.

“The incident that took place on Saturday night is unacceptable and our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and affected. The organization is working to provide additional education and resources to our current members to foster a culture of safety and responsibility in our chapter,” the Sigma Tau chapter said, in a post on Instagram regarding the incident.