Kaytlyn Ann Graefe will be released from the Blaine County jail on Jan. 11 after serving 348 days in jail for vehicular manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance. After her release, Graefe, 21, will be responsible for paying an as-yet-unspecified amount of child support to the family impacted by her inattentive driving on Aug. 19, 2018.
Graefe, of Shoshone, pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanors on June 24 and was sentenced on July 10. Formal charges were brought against Graefe more than five months after the accident, and she has remained in jail unable to afford bond since Jan. 25.
During an emotional sentencing hearing in Blaine County Magistrate Court, Javier Ubence—the husband of Georgina Ubence, 37, who was killed in the accident—told the court during his victim’s impact statement that the judicial system had failed him and his dead wife by repeatedly giving Graefe suspended jail sentences and continuing to put her on supervised probation, which she regularly violated, for previous misdemeanor drug and driving offenses.
An investigation into the fatal collision in 2018 determined that Graefe’s Chevrolet Sonic was set at 59 mph on cruise control as she was driving south on state Highway 75 around 7 p.m., when the Sonic crossed the center line south of Timmerman Junction and struck the passenger side of the Ubence vehicle, which was traveling north, home to their residence in Bellevue. When their car was struck, Georgina Ubence and her husband, the sole occupants of the vehicle, flew through the windshield. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Just two days before the accident, Graefe had been sentenced in Lincoln County Magistrate Court for a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. In that case, Judge Mark Ingram sentenced her to one year of probation and a one-year suspended jail sentence.
In court during the sentencing hearing in July, Blaine County Magistrate Judge Jennifer Haemmerle, who presided over the manslaughter case, called Graefe’s behavior “repulsive” and said Graefe obviously had no intention of remaining sober, per the Lincoln County probation order, because first responders found two baggies of marijuana and a soda can altered to function as a pipe in the glove compartment of her car after the accident.
Also at the scene of the accident, Graefe admitted to first responders that she had fallen asleep at the wheel, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
During a hearing in Blaine County Magistrate Court on Dec. 11, the prosecution presented its calculations of the child support amount that Graefe will be responsible to pay to the two minor children left motherless by her actions. According to state law, vehicle manslaughter convictions resulting in the death of a parent of minor children may be ordered by the court to pay support for each minor child until the child turns 18.
Haemmerle had not released an order on the exact amount of child support as of Thursday.
Graefe was also ordered to pay $750 to state agencies for the cost of drug testing. Upon her release, she will be on probation for a minimum of two years and will have a suspended driver’s license for one year.