Las Vegas Sun

March 28, 2015

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Stripper charged with DUI in fatal crash pleads not guilty

Shauna Diane Miller

Shauna Diane Miller

A December trial is scheduled for the dancer accused of being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana in March when her vehicle was involved in a collision that killed the father of a 2-year-old.

Shauna Diane Miller, 26, pleaded not guilty to felony DUI charges during her arraignment Monday in Clark County District Court. Criminal Arraignment Master Melisa De La Garza set a Dec. 9 trial date for Miller’s case.

Miller, who was on her way home from a shift as a dancer at the Spearmint Rhino strip club, was driving a Hummer H2 shortly after 7 a.m. March 23 when the vehicle collided with a Ford Escort near West Spring Mountain and South Wynn roads. The Escort driver, James Joseph White, 33, died. His 2-year-old son was in the backseat and sustained bruises and a skull fracture.

White was less than two blocks from his home when the accident occurred, records indicate.

According to a Metro Police report, Miller had told investigating officers the light switched from green to yellow while she was driving west on Spring Mountain and that when she saw the Escort turn right from Wynn on to Spring Mountain, she tried to brake.

Miller also told police she’d had two beers hours during her work shift. She’d also said she had taken a Xanax around 8 the previous night.

Prosecutors and some witnesses dispute that the light was yellow when the accident occurred. They also maintain Miller's blood-alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit and that the amount of marijuana in her system was more than five times the legal threshold for the amount of marijuana metabolites present in a driver’s bloodstream.

At trial, the defense will be calling witness Maria Saucedo, who gave a statement saying the light had turned yellow. The immediacy of Saucedo's statement will be important in the trial, said Sean Sullivan, Miller's attorney. Other witnesses didn't give statements until weeks after the accident.

During a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Sullivan questioned why police did not check if White had a record but did check Miller’s record.

"I think it's going to create a lot of doubt as to who caused the accident," said Sullivan, who during the preliminary hearing brought up that White has a record.

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  1. Is she had twice the amount of alcohol in her system then how did she pass the breathalyzer test? I call b.s.

  2. Now that Nevada is legalizing marijuana - for medical purposes, it will have to consider the liabilities of those who use it and how they will function with daily activities such as driving.

  3. What does Mr. Whites record have to do with this incident? And how does that relieve Miss Miller of her actions?

  4. The legalization of Marijuana has nothing at all to do with this. I myself do not partake, and the legality of it, even if it was commercially available in retail locations doesn't mean that I, nor others will suddenly start smoking it. Tobacco is perfectly legal, and I don't smoke that either. Legal or not, if someone wants to imbibe, they're going to.

    White's record doesn't, and shouldn't play a part in this at all. Doesn't matter if a felon, or even an escaped convict were to be wrongfully killed in an automobile accident, the driver at fault should be charged just the same. However for a driver under suspicion of DUI, her record can show past violations and a probability to offend again.

    This whole "light was turning yellow" B.S. is just that. When I light turns yellow, you are supposed to slow down to stop. As such you should be able to if you are doing the posted speed limit and are sober enough to have proper reaction times. Could the accident have been preventable if she were to have been sober? Probably so given her impairment. Even if it could not have been, DUI sheds doubt upon her ability to maintain proper control of her vehicle because research tells us so.

    If I were the prosecutor, pursuant to NRS 484D.485 I would be subpoenaing the EDR out of her H2 to admit the telemetry data as evidence. Speed + the Deceleration Timespan once the brakes were initiated until the impact point when the SRS was activated and the Air Bags were deployed will show just how fast she was able to react let alone if she was even able to at all. It will also record any acceleration changes as well to show if she perhaps saw the yellow light and increased speed to try and "beat it". And if that were the case, her case is over.

  5. @DMCVegas
    I do agree with your post for that is the very reason I now have a dash cam in my car because I commute 80 mile one way a day and if I'm in an accident that I may not live I want evidence that my family can use. Too many people I see driving should not be driving, They drive impaired, Distracted or what ever may be the cause they then want to accuse the deceased one at fault. I also not sure how Mr. White would be able to cross examine Miss miller so there fore his record should not be admitted seeing he's not the one on trial.

  6. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  7. I agree with another comment, that the continued use of 'stripper' in the article headline has nothing to do with the traffic violation at hand.

    Also, the woman's use of multiple effect bearing substances does impact the case, as does the man's driving record.

    If there was no camera footage, it become a he said she said conversation. She said it was yellow. He is not able to say anything. We'll have to leave it to the blind eye of justice to decide.

  8. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  9. BAC does matter.

    "This whole "light was turning yellow" B.S. is just that. When I light turns yellow, you are supposed to slow down to stop." -- I hope you know more about the law than science. At 35MPH it takes almost sixty feet to stop a car, assuming you have started pressing on the brakes. With reaction time it takes about 100-150 feet to stop a car at that speed. Question is, what was reaction time and why? I don't believe for a moment that at 35 MPH you stop your car when the light turns yellow when you are 15-20 yards from the intersection.

    "White's record doesn't, and shouldn't play a part in this at all." That may be true if White had an assault record or money laundering record. But what if he had his license revoked for running nine red lights over the past three years? I would think that would play a part no matter how many NRS's a person can find.

    Don't even get me started on your understanding of telemetry data....

    All that said, I'm guessing that she's guilty. But I'd still wait for trial evidence and witness accounts.