Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 6th, 2011 at 10:23 am
taken on 12/15/10.
After two weeks of testimony, a Multnomah County grand jury has upgraded the charges against Caleb Pruitt, the 28-year old man who struck and killed Angela Burke with his car as she attempted to cross SW Barbur Boulevard on December 15th.
Pruitt was arrested that night and booked on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Criminally Negligent Homicide. According to a witness, Pruitt had been drinking, was driving very fast and was unable to negotiate a sweeping corner on Barbur prior to the collision.
During the Grand Jury process, the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division's Major Crash Team worked to upgrade those charges because they felt like Criminally Negligent Homicide — which could result only in probation — did not adequately reflect the severity of Pruitt's actions.
In large part due to the testimony of the PPB's Major Crash Team, evidence they gleaned from the scene, and their of analysis of what happened that night, Pruitt is now charged with the following:
- Manslaughter II
- Criminally Negligent Homicide
- Reckless Driving
- Recklessly Endangering Another Person (three counts, there were two people in Pruitt's car)
I contacted Sgt. Todd Davis of the Traffic Division after the charges were announced. He said he is "pleased with these charges." He also added, via an email, that,
"The Major Crash team collectively and Officer Barry Busse in particular, worked incredibly hard on this case. It was due to his effort and analysis that we were able to go to Grand Jury and get the charges upgraded to what we have now. I feel a lot better now that we have a Manslaughter charge on the table. This crash and fatality was due solely to Mr. Pruitt's reckless driving and impairment."
Manslaughter 2 is a Measure 11 crime, which means that if Pruitt is convicted, he will receive a minimum prison sentence of 75 months.
— Read our full coverage of this story here.