A magistrate judge decided Monday that a Shoshone woman charged with the fatal death of a Bellevue resident will face a jury trial in Blaine County, where the charges were filed, denying a motion for a change of venue. Also denied was a motion to separate the charges into two separate jury trials.
This was the second motion hearing on the case within two weeks. The first hearing was for a motion for reduction of bond on May 30.
At that hearing, Kaytlyn Ann Graefe, 20, appeared for the first time in court after being charged on Jan. 23 with three misdemeanors: vehicular manslaughter, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. The charges are related to the death of Bellevue resident Georgina Jean Ubence, 37, who died at the scene of an accident near Timmerman Junction on Aug. 19, in which Graefe was the driver of a second vehicle involved.
Graefe’s public defense attorney, Selim Star, had asked that his client’s bond be reduced, arguing that the family did not own any property and had no assets to leverage for the $75,000 bond set at the time of Graefe’s arraignment on Jan. 25.
Magistrate Judge Jennifer Haemmerle agreed to reduce the bail to $30,000, meaning that Graefe’s family would be required to pay $3,000 to a bail bond company for her to be released from jail.
“She’s not going to be able to pay it,” Star told the Mountain Express following the hearing.
At the second motion hearing on Monday, Star argued for the three charges to be separated into two cases, one for the misdemeanor possession and paraphernalia charges and another for the vehicular manslaughter charge, and that the latter case be tried outside of Blaine County due to publicity.
Haemmerle denied both motions, saying the jury pool in Blaine County is big enough that finding an unbiased group of seven people would be possible. She ruled that the three charges would be tried together by a jury during a trial on June 26.