ANTIDEPRESSANT-HYDROCODONE-ALCOHOL: Wrong-Way Crash: 4 Dead: Two Injured: TX

Paragraph 15 reads:  “After the wreck, DPS trooper Otto
Cabrera wrote in an arrest affidavit that he “could smell the strong odor of
metabolized alcohol from Looschen.” Looschen told Cabrera that he’d been
drinking and had taken antidepressants as well as
hydrocodone, according to the affidavit. Hydrocodone can be used as a cough
suppressant or a pain reliever.”

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/georgetown-man-pleads-guilty-in-fatal-2009-wreck-248382.html

Georgetown man pleads guilty in fatal 2009 wreck

Luke Anthony Looschen faces up to 100 years in prison for wrongway crash
on Texas 29.

By Miguel
Liscano

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Updated: 12:49 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010

Published: 8:54 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17,
2010

A Georgetown man pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to four counts of
intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault, admitting
guilt in causing a three-vehicle collision last summer that killed four people
and injured two others.

Luke Anthony Looschen, 48, entered his plea
before District Judge Burt Carnes in a Williamson County courtroom. A sentencing
hearing has been set for March 12 . He faces up to 100 years in
prison.

The guilty plea was not part of a plea agreement, Looschen’s
attorney Mike Davis and Williamson County Assistant District Attorney Robert
McCabe said in court.

“Mr. Looschen has acknowledged his guilt from the
get-go on this, and he felt the proper thing to do was to plead guilty,” Davis
said later.

Family members of those killed in the wreck wept in the
courtroom as Looschen entered his plea.

Looschen, who has been in the
Williamson County Jail with bail set at $600,000 since his arrest, showed no
visible emotion during the hearing.

“Did you use your truck as a deadly
weapon in this case?” McCabe asked.

“Yes, sir, I did,” Looschen
replied.

Because of that admission, Looschen must serve at least half of
the sentence he receives, and Carnes cannot sentence him to probation,
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley said.

Looschen was
arrested Aug. 10 after troopers said he was driving a pickup east in a westbound
lane of Texas 29 near Jonah and collided head-on with a Jeep and a van carrying
seven people. The van slid down an embankment and struck a tree, according to a
Department of Public Safety crash report.

The driver of the Jeep was not
seriously injured, officials said.

In the van, Pete Mendez, 44, and Paula
Martinez, 38 , were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. Two passengers
died later at University Medical Center Brackenridge: Crystal Martinez , the
16-year-old daughter of Paula Martinez and Clemente Martinez, the driver; and
Stephanie Valadez, 24, who was dating the couple’s son.

Valadez’s
daughter Tristan and son Jacob, who were 3 and 1, respectively, at the time of
the wreck, were treated at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple and
released.

Clemente Martinez was not seriously injured, officials
said.

After the wreck, DPS trooper Otto Cabrera wrote in an arrest
affidavit that he “could smell the strong odor of metabolized alcohol from
Looschen.” Looschen told Cabrera that he’d been drinking and had taken
antidepressants as well as hydrocodone, according to the affidavit. Hydrocodone

can be used as a cough suppressant or a pain reliever.

Blood test results
later revealed that Looschen’s blood alcohol content level was 0.16 , or twice
the legal limit of 0.08 , according to the DPS crash report. Looschen had been
in a previous one-vehicle accident on July 16 in Williamson County, which he
later discussed on his Facebook page. He said on the Web site that he had
totaled his truck and “sustained some scrapes, bruises and lacerations.” On Aug.
3, a few days before the fatal crash, he wrote on Facebook that he was getting a
replacement truck that day.

In 2006, Looschen was in a motorcycle
accident with his ex-wife, 43-year-old Shanan Looschen, in Georgetown, police
said.

Shanan Looschen was thrown from the motorcycle and died a day later
at Brackenridge, police said. Neither was wearing a helmet, police
said.

No charges were filed in either of the two earlier
wrecks.

mliscano@statesman.com;
246-1150

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Court overturns conviction in 2005 child neglect case

When Schieck discussed the plea agreement, the court said he was aware that
Snyder “had a significant history of mental health problems, including a
previous institutionalization, antidepressant prescriptions and recent suicide
attempts.”

  • Saturday, January 30, 2010
  • 54° | Mostly Cloudy

    Court overturns conviction in 2005 child

    neglect case

    By Cy Ryan

    Fri, Jan 15, 2010 (3:40 p.m.)

    CARSON CITY – In a 2-1 decision, the Nevada Supreme Court has voided the
    second-degree murder conviction of Charlene Snyder in a highly publicized child

    neglect case in Las Vegas.

    The court said trial lawyer David Schieck failed to request a psychiatric
    evaluation prior to advising her to plead guilty.

    Snyder’s 2-year-old daughter, Adacelli, had cerebral palsy and weighed only
    11 pounds at the time of her death in the summer of 2005. She was found dead
    inside the family’s mobile home in a room filled with animal and human feces and
    rotting food.

    When Schieck discussed the plea agreement, the court said he was aware that
    Snyder “had a significant history of mental health problems, including a
    previous institutionalization, antidepressant prescriptions and recent suicide
    attempts.”

    The court said the lawyer was aware “of the highly unusual behavior she
    exhibited in allowing her home to, in effect, become a cesspool.

    In light of trial counsel’s knowledge, he was unreasonable in failing to
    request a psychiatric evaluation prior to counseling appellant (Snyder) to plead
    guilty.”

    Schieck had testified he did not order the evaluation because he believed
    Snyder was competent. The court said, “the standard for competency is not the
    same as that for insanity, nor is it relevant to appellant’s state of mind when
    her daughter died.”

    The court said a psychiatric evaluation may have supported the only line of
    defense for Snyder of “insanity or that she lacked the requisite state of
    mind.”

    The majority decision was signed Justices Michael Cherry and Michael Douglas.
    Dissenting was Justice Mark Gibbons, who said Snyder had not met her burden to
    show her lawyer was incompetent.

    Snyder, now 32, will return to district court in Las Vegas for new
    proceedings.

    Both Snyder and her boyfriend Jack Richardson, now 29, were sentenced to
    terms of 10 years to life on the second-degree murder conviction.

    Discussion: 2 comments so far…

    1. By LasVegasLawyerGal
      1/15/10 at 4:57 p.m.

      Of course, the part not mentioned by the article is that in practice,
      requesting a psych eval for one’s client means a transfer of the matter to
      Judge Glass–who rarely, if ever, finds anyone incompetent. This is not to
      dispute that attorneys should request psych evals when it appears to them that
      mental competency is in issue–but it is a bit rich for our Supreme Court to
      posit that a psych eval would have magically changed the outcome.

    2. By Launce
      1/16/10 at 4:19 p.m.

      LVLG is correct, but nonetheless, the Court shows some intestinal fortitude
      in sending this back to District Court. The mob’s hunger for blood
      notwithstanding, this is a clear example of someone who could not, should not
      be responsible for the care of a disabled infant. The mob wants to punish
      Snyder for the community’s failure to look out for the most
      vulnerable.

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