Lubbock Woman Facing New Charges for Hit and Run Last Summer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/6/04

Lubbock Woman Facing New Charges for Hit and Run Last Summer

Back in November, when 29-year-old Brett Walrath was still alive on life machines and feeding tubes, 62-year-old Callie Long was indicted for Intoxication Assault and failing to stop and render aid. Now, those felony charges have been upgraded and she faces up to 20 years in prison.

It's still too hard for LaKeisha Walrath to think about life without her husband, Brett. But she told NewsChannel 11 that she's moving on. She wants nothing more than justice for her husband who was killed by an alleged drunk driver last summer.

Over the phone, LaKeisha said that Long "chose to get behind the wheel and for that, I want her to pay for what she's done."

Last August, in the late evening, Brett was riding his bike on the access road on South Loop 289. He was hit by a car, and left to die. Police reported that Long didn't stop to help and kept driving. She didn't call 911 until a couple of blocks later. Reports indicate her blood alcohol level was a .13, nearly two times over the legal limit.

Now, Special Prosecutor Rod Hobson re-presented the case to a Grand Jury Tuesday. Because new reports from the medical examiners office ruled Brett Walrath died in January from his injuries. "We have an autopsy and based on that autopsy we re-presented the case to the Grand Jury and asked for an indictment on Intoxication Manslaughter and Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon," said Hobson.

Before Walrath's death, Long was indicted for Intoxication Assault. Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim's assistant, Shannon Ramos, says she's thrilled the Grand Jury has re-indicted Long. "Because he is gone and there should be a harsher penalty when you've killed someone. The void of Brett's absence that he's going to leave in his family's life is forever," said Ramos.

As for LaKeisha, she says her son helps her make it through the tough days. Her and Brett's son was born four months after Brett was hit by the car.

The Walrath family is suing Outback Steakhouse for $32 million. Long was apparently drinking there before she drove home.

The attorney on that case says they're in the middle of depositions and the civil trial won't be until next year. We were not able to reach Ms. Long for comment.

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