KINGMAN — A Texas woman accused of driving drunk and killing a bicyclist in Bullhead City pleaded guilty Monday.
Melanie Luverne Jones, 43, was charged with felony manslaughter and four counts of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol. One of the DUI charges was with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.20 percent. Jones is being held in county jail on a $250,000 bond.
Jones pleaded guilty to manslaughter as a dangerous felony and driving under the influence with a BAC more than. 0.20 percent. The stipulated sentence would be 10 years in prison.
Earlier in the hearing, Superior Court Commissioner Billy Sipe Jr. gave details of a plea agreement as well as the possible sentence if Jones were convicted at trial. If convicted, she would face from seven to 21 years in prison for the manslaughter charge depending if the judge found aggravating or mitigating factors.
Sipe said there were at least four aggravating factors. He said Jones has three prior DUI convictions, the most recent in 2013.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Megan McCoy said the victim’s family wanted Jones to face the maximum prison sentence.
Her sentencing before Superior Court Judge Richard Weiss is set for March 15.
Jones was driving her car southbound on Highway 95 near Home Depot around 6 p.m. May 5, 2017, when her vehicle struck Robert Dale Fox II, 34, of Bullhead City, as he was riding his bicycle. Fox’s bike struck a curb, throwing him off the bike. He died at the scene, Bullhead City police reported.
Jones’ car was damaged in the front passenger side. Jones, of Big Spring, Texas, was taken to a Bullhead City hospital for a blood alcohol draw before she was booked into county jail.
Results from the hospital about two hours later showed that her blood alcohol level was about 0.204 percent and that she had drugs in her system. The legal alcohol limit in Arizona is 0.08 percent.