And Jessica Crane likely won’t be free to walk, bike, Uber or Lyft anywhere legally until she finishes a prison sentence of at least 19 years, 10 months.
That’s the short end of what Crane will face at sentencing April 12 after changing her plea to guilty on 12 charges resulting from the May 7, 2016, crash into Michelle James.
With her guilty plea, Crane is unlikely to face the long end (78 years) for DUI manslaughter; DUI serious bodily injury; reckless driving with serious bodily injury; two counts of reckless driving causing injury; two counts of DUI causing injury; felony DUI causing property damage; reckless driving causing property damage; leaving the scene of a crash with a death; leaving the scene of a crash with property damage; and violation of license restrictions.
DUI manslaughter alone carries 19 years, 10 months and permanent revocation of her license. Then again, Crane has been caught twice driving on a suspended license, and her license has been suspended 14 times. Her two previous DUI convictions meant she shouldn’t have been driving any car without a breath alcohol ignition interlock device. But she did so in a 2008 Infiniti sedan on April 12, 2016, and May 7, 2016.
Around 5 p.m. on the day before Mother’s Day, Crane, a mother of one, finished a speeding, careening trip down University Drive by hopping up onto the sidewalk and hitting Miramar’s Michelle James and James’ 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. In the immediate absence of police, witnesses chased down Crane in their cars, trapped her and snatched the keys out of the ignition. They were later given certificates of appreciation by Miramar Police Chief Dexter Williams.
The arrest reports say once in police custody, Crane said she knew she was in Miami Lakes. Then she urinated in the back of the police car. And insisted she hadn't hit anybody, “Those ----ing Cubans hit me! They’re looking for a free ride!”
James’ son suffered a broken leg. Her daughter suffered a sprained knee. James, six months pregnant, was in critical condition and doctors performed a Caesarian delivery in an attempt to save the baby.
Knight James, 4 days old, died May 11. By that point, Crane had posted $40,000 bond for her release on the first set of charges. Michelle James has since recovered.
But Knight James’ death and a toxicology report that said Crane blew a .222 blood alcohol content, 177.5 percent over the legal limit, resulted in a quadrupling of the charges against Crane.
The state cited the above as well as Crane’s driving record — 30 tickets in Miami-Dade County alone — in arguing “that the defendant poses a threat of harm to the community and there are no conditions of release that can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm.”
Judge Martin Fein agreed and Crane has been in Broward County jail since June 13, 2016.
On April 12, Fein will let her know how much longer she will be behind bars.