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Wrongful Death Following Alleged Mistaken Washington Jail Release Settles For $1,800,000

On September 6, 2007, the City of Algona and King County, Washington, agreed to pay $1,800,000 to the estate of a man killed by a hit and run driver who was, according to the lawsuit, mistakenly released from jail despite multiple convictions for driving under the influence (DUI).

Michael McGuire, 48, was allegedly run over and killed by a pick up truck driven by Tracy Enoch-Jevne on December 2, 1999. Enoch-Jevne was arrested several hours after she left the scene of the accident. She already had four DUI convictions on her record.

Two months prior to the hit and run, Enoch-Jevne had been transferred from the Pierce County Jail to the King County Jail in order to work off sentences from multiple DUI and drug convictions she received between 1996 and 1999. At the time of her transfer she had at least two months left to serve on a 1996 DUI conviction she picked up in the City of Algona. Upon her transfer to King County, a judge gave Enoch-Jevne credit for time served on an unrelated DUI charge and released her after just three days in jail.

Following his death, McGuire?s wife, Susan, filed suit on behalf of herself, her dead husband, and their 24-year-old son who was a minor at the time of the accident. Ms. McGuire claimed that the City of Algona should have made King County aware of Enoch-Jevne?s unserved jail time and that King County should have reviewed her records and discovered the remaining sentence. Ms. McGuire further contended that the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) should have arrested Enoch-Jevne in October 1999 after she violated the conditions of her parole.

The City of Algona and King County agreed to settle their part in the lawsuit for $1,800,000, with Algona paying the entire amount because King County was jailing Enoch-Jevne on a contract basis for the city.

McGuire is still seeking damages from the remaining defendants, including the WDOC. Trial was set for December 3, 2007. In May 2000 Enoch-Jevne was found guilty of vehicular homicide and sentenced to eight years in prison.

McGuire was represented by Stephen L. Bulzomi of Tacoma, Washington. Her experts included Warren Cook (corrections) of Portland, Oregon; Bonnie Baker, Ph.D. (psychologist) and William Stough (corrections supervision), both of Spokane, Washington; and Robert W. Moss (economist) and Dan Hall (corrections/offender supervision), both of Seattle, Washington. See: McGuire v. Enoch-Jevne, Pierce County Court, Case No. 99-2-14157-7.

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Related legal case

McGuire v. Enoch-Jevne