McKinleyville woman accused of running over and killing a man while
drunk and on drugs will remain behind bars to face her charges.
Deputy District Attorney Luke Bernthal, objecting to the release of 25-year-old Shala Marie Bianco, said her blood alcohol level was at .15 when she was arrested, which was 90 minutes after the alleged hit-and-run collision.
Bianco also was under the influence of cocaine, marijuana and the prescription drug Ativan, Bernthal said.
The prosecutor read a statement from the wife of victim Clinton Eugene Deckert II, pleading with Judge Timothy Canning not to release the person charged with killing him.
“The love of my life was taken from me by a drunk driver,” the wife wrote in the statement. She said they had been together for 27 years. Bernthal said the wife, Jill, was too distraught to attend the hearing this afternoon.
Bianco’s parents were in the courtroom along with other supporters. Her mother cried as bailiffs escorted Bianco into court in her blue jail jumpsuit and handcuffs.
Deckert, 47, was struck and killed shortly before 7:30 a.m. Saturday as he walked on Central Avenue near Bella Vista Road. Bianco allegedly sped away, but within an hour called the California Highway Patrol to confess she was the driver.
According to the CHP, Bianco’s Toyota Rav 4 struck Deckert after she made an unsafe turn and the vehicle drifted onto the shoulder of the road.
Defense attorney Manny Daskal had requested Wednesday that Bianco be evaluated by the Probation Department for possible supervised release. The department recommended against release and today Canning followed the recommendation.
“The court is very concerned regarding the severity of the alleged crime,” Canning said. “She would otherwise be eligible.”
Daskal had argued Bianco is an ideal candidate for supervised release. She works full-time and is a single mother raising a young child.
“She immediately, once she fled the scene, realized the wrongfulness of her actions,” Daskal said.
When meeting with law enforcement officers she “was very cooperative, more cooperative than most people.”
Bianco is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunken driving and drunken driving causing injury. She also faces special allegations, including fleeing the scene and driving with a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher.
Canning has set Bianco’s bail at $180,000. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 11.