Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Manslaughter suspect pleads not guilty

Stevens arraigned in vehicle death of Hailey woman

Express Staff Writer

Cody William Stevens

A man charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of a Hailey woman pleaded not guilty Monday in Blaine County 5th District Court.

Cody William Stevens, a 28-year-old Twin Falls man, entered his plea at his district court arraignment before Judge Robert J. Elgee. Defense attorney Douglas Werth requested a jury trial, though none was scheduled because Elgee has been disqualified from the case on a motion filed by the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The case has now been assigned to Judge Barry Wood.

Stevens is accused of causing the death of Bertilia Lyn Redfern, 53, a legal clerk at the Roark Law Firm, either because he was driving on the influence or because he was grossly negligent.

Elgee informed Stevens that he could face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine if convicted of causing the death because of DUI, or that he could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of causing the death because of gross negligence.

Redfern died March 10 on state Highway 75 in south Hailey. Stevens' vehicle allegedly swerved into the path of Redfern, who lost control of her car to avoid hitting him and was struck by another vehicle.

Stevens remains free on $25,000 bond. Elgee declined to hear a motion by Werth to modify the conditions of release, one of which precludes Stevens from operating a motor vehicle.

"I think this is something you'll have to take up with Judge Wood," Elgee said. "This is not my case."

Terry Smith:

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