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New Year’s Day driver changes plea to guilty 

PINEDALE (WNE) — Earlier this month, Jade S. Jewkes, of Jackson, signaled a change of mind – or heart – about going to trial for aggravated homicide.

Jewkes was arrested Jan. 1 after her northbound Jeep Cherokee crossed Highway 191 and struck a southbound plow-truck driven by Shane Deal, of Pinedale, near Granite Creek Road, causing severe injuries. Deal died later that night at St. John’s Hospital in Jackson.

Jewkes was charged with two felony counts of aggravated homicide – one based on her having a blood alcohol concentration over .08 and one that she was intoxicated. She was also charged with driving while intoxicated.

On March 10 in 9th District Court, she pleaded not guilty to the three charges and requested a jury trial. The trial was set to begin Sept. 20. She was released on $150,000 cash/surety bond with restrictions on driving, drinking or contacting the Deal family.

However, on May 27, Jewkes entered a ‘cold’ guilty plea to the first and third counts, with the understanding that the state will remove the second count.

She faces a maximum sentence on the aggravated homicide and DUI charges of 20 years jail time and fines of $10,750.

Jewkes testified she “drank too much and made a horrible, horrible decision.” She said she made the drive to Jackson when her BAC was .22 after drinking mimosas and other drinks she could not remember.

Judge Marv Tyler ordered a presentence investigation report and substance abuse evaluation.

“You may have to pay restitution as a result of the criminal conduct on your part,” he told Jewkes. “The victim’s family, for example.”