A woman accused of killing her daughter in an alcohol-related crash was no stranger to drinking while driving, her son testified today.
Karen Faye Honeycutt, 41, was charged with murder and gross vehicular manslaughter for her role in the death of 9-year-old Chloe Honeycutt.
The crash happened in January on Vail Ranch Parkway near Valentino Way as Honeycutt was driving with three of her children, according to sheriff’s department officials.
Honeycutt was sipping on a can of Bud Light as she drove her children home from Great Oak High School, her youngest son, Zachary “Myles” Honeycutt, testified.
It wasn’t the first time his mother drank while driving, he said. “I’ve seen her do it before, but she doesn’t do it a lot,” he said.
Honeycutt was convicted before of drunken driving, and after the crash, she had signs of marijuana in her system and a blood-alcohol level of .22 percent, which is well above the level deputies assume causes intoxication, .08 percent, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies found about a dozen opened beer cans in Honeycutt’s home, according to arrest records.
That day, the mother took her children to pick up their oldest sibling, and when he failed to show up, she got angry, the young boy recalled, occasionally glancing at his mother, who sat next to her attorney wearing a blue prison uniform.
“She was getting kind of mad or worried,” he said. “She kept saying hurry up… she was talking to herself.”
Soon, as the family drove home, her mood suddenly lifted. “She started screaming, ‘Yay,’” Myles recalled. “She cooled down a little and started turning happy.”
The mother’s eyes squinted as though she were confused when her son said this.
The mother was driving fast, and Myles got nervous, so he scooted over to look at the speedometer and saw they were going between 70 and 80 mph, he said.
“I didn’t want nothing to happen or nobody to get hurt,” he said.
Numerous witnesses told investigators shortly after the crash Honeycutt was driving the jeep “very fast,” according to two deputies who took the stand today.
That was the last thing Myles remembered until paramedics picked him up from the street, he said.
Myles was the only one of the children wearing a seatbelt, sheriff’s officials said.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Albert J. Wojcik decided enough evidence was available to put Honeycutt on trial.
If convicted, she could face 25 years to life in prison.