By Conrad Dudderar
A Hinton woman who faces life in prison for causing a crash that killed a Yukon man says she can’t remember what happened, according to an Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ report.
Melissa May Seuffert, 34, has “shown remorse for her actions” in the fatal collision but has “no recollection of the traffic incident” and events that led to the death of victim Matthew Rousey, according to a pre-sentence investigation filed Feb. 9 in Canadian County District Court.
“To this day, (I) do not fully/at all remember the events that led to my incarceration,” Seuffert told state DOC investigators. “All I can say here is what I was told happened. I was west of El Reno on I-40 West and I was speeding and intoxicated.
“I apparently tried to pass Matthew Rousey and swiped the back of his truck and caused both of us to flip and then Matthew Rousey later died.”
Seuffert pleaded no contest in October 2020 to the felony charge of second-degree murder in Rousey’s death. She is due to be formally sentenced later this month.
“Again, I know it doesn’t make it right, but I CAN’T remember ANY of this,” according to Seuffert’s statement in the pre-sentence investigation report. “I did not ever set out to do this. I would never intentionally hurt a fly let alone kill a man. I am so, so sorry for my actions.”
Rousey was killed in a two-vehicle traffic collision May 11, 2020 on Interstate 40 eastbound near Heaston Road in El Reno.
Seuffert was driving a 2010 Nissan Altima “at a high rate of speed” when she struck the left rear of a Ford F-350 driven by Rousey, according to a probable cause affidavit signed by Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Matthew Conway.
Rousey was ejected from his pickup, which left the roadway and rolled multiple times. Rousey, of Yukon, was 35 when he died.
SHOOTING UP, SMOKING DRUGS
In her pre-sentence investigation interview, defendant Seuffert reportedly acknowledged she was “shooting up heroin and smoking methamphetamines multiple times a day for over a year leading up” to the day of this incident.
“She advised she was living life in a ‘fog of drugs’ in an attempt to dull the pain of her father’s passing three years ago,” according to the DOC report.
The pre-sentence investigation found that Seuffert is a “threat to the community” when she gets behind the wheel.
“The defendant purposefully injected herself with methamphetamine and heroin just before getting behind the wheel of her vehicle, a decision that ultimately led to the death of the victim, Mr. Matthew Rousey,” the report indicates.
“She has multiple citations on her Oklahoma Department of Public Safety record for driving a vehicle with a suspended license. Suspension of her driver’s license does not appear to be a significant deterrent to keep her from driving.”
SENTENCING SET MARCH 22
Seuffert is due to be sentenced March 22 in Canadian County District Court.
Special Judge Charles Gass already has found Seuffert guilty of the second-degree murder charge with prior felony convictions.
Second-degree murder is punishable by 10 years to life in prison.
Seuffert has been in state DOC custody since October 2020 after violating her probation in a 2018 driving under the influence of drugs case. Her seven-year deferred sentence was accelerated to five years in state prison.
She was transferred to the Canadian County Jail in January to await formal sentencing in the second-degree murder case.
Seuffert also has previous charges of public intoxication, driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence of alcohol, and drug possession.
The defendant has a history of driving without a valid license and driving while intoxicated; along with a “drug history that spans back into her teens”, the pre-sentence investigation report notes.
A state DOC team supervisor has recommended Seuffert “be granted a term of incarceration to be determined by the court with the possibility of parole.” Judge Gass will decide how long.
“It is believed she would benefit greatly from placement in a facility that offers mental health treatment and extensive substance abuse treatment,” the report reads.
“It is further recommended for a restitution hearing to be conducted to hold the defendant financially accountable for the pain and suffering, as well as possible financial hardship, caused to the victim’s widow, Mrs. Natalie Rousey.”