Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sun Valley woman dies at Boise prison

Coronerís office rules Darcie Olsenís death was by suicide


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    A 53-year-old Sun Valley woman, serving a prison sentence in Boise for a second Blaine County felony conviction for driving under the influence, died early Thursday morning last week after committing suicide in her prison cell.
    The Ada County Coroner’s Office confirmed on Monday that Darcie Olsen died of “asphyxiation by hanging.”
    Olsen’s death was investigated by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Andrea Dearden said Monday that the investigation confirmed the corner’s ruling.
    “There will always be a review to make sure that nothing happened criminally,” Dearden said. “There’s nothing to indicate any criminal activity.”
    The Associated Press reported that Olsen was found unconscious in her cell at the South Boise Women’s Correctional Center at 12:07 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6. Attempts to revive her by resuscitation were unsuccessful and Olsen was pronounced dead at 12:57 a.m.
    Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray said Monday that Olsen was “found hanging from a bunk.” Neither Ray nor Dearden could say what Olsen used to hang herself.
    Ray said suicide is not common at IDOC facilities.
    “It’s rare,” he said. “It seems like we have one or two a year.”
    The South Boise Women’s Correctional Center, with a capacity for 284 inmates, is a treatment and transition facility for minimum-security offenders.
    Olsen was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison in April of 2013 in Blaine County 5th District Court. Judge Robert J. Elgee ordered then that Olsen serve at least 22 months before parole eligibility. She was given credit for 252 days already spent in jail.
    The conviction stemmed from an accident in Sun Valley on Aug. 14, 2012, when Olsen crashed her vehicle through a fence at the intersection of Moritz Road and Trail Creek Road.
    She was also convicted of felony DUI in Blaine County in 2010 and sentenced to 90 days in jail. According to court records, she had misdemeanor DUI convictions in Blaine County in 2005 and 2007. Court records further state that Olsen had at least two other earlier DUI convictions in other states.
    At sentencing last April, defense attorney Andrew Parnes said that Olsen “suffers from a serious mental disorder” but that “she understands she needs to change her life.” Parnes requested then that Olsen be placed in an extensive in-patient treatment program rather than be sentenced to prison.
    However, Elgee noted that Olsen had been through treatment programs before.
    “Nothing works—that’s the bottom line here—nothing works,” Elgee said then. “It’s the repeated, repeated, repeated driving of a car. She’s had multiple chances, but she keeps coming back again and again and again.”






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