By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A Yukon woman accused of driving drunk and causing the death of an Elk City teenager has been bound over for trial – for a second time.
Cassandra Ann Bray, 42, was charged Feb. 23, 2022, in Canadian County District Court with first-degree manslaughter and three counts of driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury.
The felony charges stem from a three-vehicle traffic collision Oct. 29, 2021, at State Highway 66 and Sara Road near the Kilpatrick Turnpike in Yukon.
Lacey Jo Martin, 16, was killed and several other people were injured in the crash.
Bray has pleaded not guilty in this case.
The defendant was back in court Oct. 6 after Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse remanded the matter for further preliminary hearing on counts three and four – two counts of DUI resulting in great bodily injury.
Bray had previously been bound over for trial on counts one and two – first-degree manslaughter and one count of DUI resulting in great bodily injury.
That occurred during the first day of the preliminary hearing on Sept. 9, 2022.
A jury trial set March 6 was stricken when the case was remanded for the second day of the preliminary hearing.
Bray appeared with her attorneys John Hunsucker and Doug Baxter on Oct. 6 before District Judge Khristan K. Strubhar.
Assistant District Attorney Austin T. Murrey presented two witnesses who gave sworn testimony, according to the court minute.
After hearing arguments from counsel, Judge Strubhar overruled the demurrer and found probable cause that Bray committed the crimes alleged in counts three and four.
The judge then bound the defendant over for trial. District court arraignment is set Nov. 7 before Judge Hesse.
Judge Strubhar, at the September 2022 preliminary hearing, found probable cause that Bray committed the crimes of first-degree manslaughter and DUI resulting in great bodily injury.
Prosecutors allege Bray – “without a premeditated design to effect death” – caused the death of Lacey Jo Martin while the defendant was “unlawfully engaged in a misdemeanor” by driving a Ford Edge “while under the influence of alcohol” and/or “exceeding the lawful speed limit.”
Bray was driving “with a breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more that made the defendant incapable for safely driving a motor vehicle” when she caused the crash in which Tiffany Cook “suffered broken bones, damaged organs and other internal and external injuries”, according to the charging document.
The names of two other people were previously stricken as victims in count two.
Judge Hesse, at a Dec. 20, 2022 hearing, denied the defense’s motion to quash count two but ordered the two names be removed from the information.
Lacey Jo Martin – a 10th grader at Epic Online School – was headed back home to Elk City after spending time with friends in Oklahoma City when the October 2021 traffic collision occurred on Yukon’s east side.
Oklahoma City Police investigated the crash, finding Bray was allegedly driving at excessive speeds while under the influence of alcohol.
Lacey was a back-seat passenger in a 2013 Chevy Cruze driven by Elk City’s Cook that was struck by Bray’s 2017 Ford Edge.
Bray was driving westbound in the inside lane of Hwy 66 at a “high rate of speed” while intoxicated, according to an Oklahoma City police report.
Bray failed to react to her “closing rate” on the westbound Chevy Cruze “until right before impact,” officer Jeffrey Hauck’s report reads.
The Yukon woman tried to swerve right but the driver’s side front of her Ford Edge impacted with the Chevy Cruze’s passenger side rear.
The vehicle crossed the center median and entered the eastbound Hwy 66 inside lane where it collided with a 2006 Mitsubishi Galant driven by an Oklahoma City teen.
The Chevy Cruze flipped onto its driver’s side before coming to a rest, partially in the grass median and partially in the eastbound Hwy 66 inside lane.
Bray was arrested the scene for driving under the influence and a breath test showed her blood alcohol content was .12, She was booked into the Canadian County Jail for causing a DUI injury accident.
Bray posted bond and was released from custody before Lacey died from her injuries Nov. 10, 2021 after spending nearly two weeks in the intensive care unit at OU Medical Center
Cook, the driver of the Chevy Cruze, reportedly suffered six broken ribs and a ruptured spleen.
Two passengers in Cook’s vehicle and the driver and a passenger in the Mitsubishi Galant also were injured, according to the police report.
Lacey’s mother shared advice with anyone thinking about driving drunk.
“Call a friend. Call or taxi. Call an Uber,” Stacy Grizzell said. “There’s some way around this. It’s not worth that person’s life nor taking a loved one from a family.”
First-degree manslaughter is punishable by not less than four years in prison.
DUI resulting in great bodily injury is punishable by four to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.