By Associated Press - Sunday, December 13, 2020

IONIA, Mich. (AP) - A woman charged with second-degree murder in the death of a state trooper was drunk and driving around 100 mph at the time of a crash last summer, authorities said.

Thomasina Jones was ordered to stand trial in Ionia County after witnesses testified last week about her blood-alcohol level and other circumstances.

The evidence appears “overwhelming,” District Court Judge Ray Voet said.

Trooper Caleb Starr was driving in Boston Township on July 10 when a vehicle crossed the center line from the opposite direction and smashed into his patrol car, police said.

Jones is from the Four Corners region in southern Utah, but she had been staying in Ionia County last summer.



Her blood-alcohol level was 0.23, about three times over Michigan’s legal limit, Trooper Jacob Lewis testified.

“She is not naïve to drinking and driving,” prosecutor Kyle Butler said, referring to Jones’ previous cases outside Michigan.

Randy Neff, who lives nearby, saved Jones by pulling her from her burning vehicle. Others tried to help the trooper.

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