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Craig, Sheri Ann

Craig

Santa Barbara County

No-bail bench warrant issued for woman charged in fatal DUI case

A no-bail bench warrant has been issued for a Port Hueneme woman accused of driving drunk near Buellton last month after she failed to show up to court Thursday. 

Sheri Ann Craig, 51, faces one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs causing injury. She pleaded not guilty, and a preliminary hearing date was supposed to be set for next week. 

Craig, however, has since bonded out of custody, according to the District Attorney's Office, but her failure to appear resulted in her bond being forfeited, and a bench warrant has been issued. 

Last month, Craig's attorney sought to have the court reduce her $100,000 bail or have her released on her own recognizance, both of which were denied. 

At about 7:30 p.m. Aug 24, Craig was reportedly driving a Honda Civic eastbound at 60 mph in the fast lane of Highway 246 just east of Williams Ranch and about 4 miles west of Buellton. For unknown reasons, Craig allowed her Civic to drift into the center median, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Civic rolled over multiple times and came to rest on its wheels, facing northeast in the westbound slow lane of the highway, according to the CHP. A passenger in the right front seat, identified as Dan Davis, suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

Craig suffered minor injuries and another passenger, George Martinez, 50, of Oxnard, suffered a head laceration and complained of pain to his chest and legs. Martinez and Craig were treated at area hospitals.

Santa Barbara County

Misdemeanor disturbing the peace case dismissed against Solvang Animal Rescue founder

The prosecution has dismissed a new misdemeanor case filed against a Solvang Animal Rescue founder who was tried and accused twice of disturbing her neighbors with whom she had a longtime feud over her animal operation. 

Julia DiSieno, 58, was charged by the District Attorney's Office with one count of disturbing the peace by loud noise -- specifically, her neighbors Richard and Mary Nohr -- on June 14, according to her complaint filed July 31.

DiSieno pleaded not guilty in August.

A trial date was set for Sept. 24 but was canceled after the District Attorney's Office announced the case dismissal.

On Thursday, however, the prosecution indicated a probation violation hearing will be held in the future, with parties returning Sept. 18 to set a hearing date. 

DiSieno went to trial May 22 on 10 misdemeanor counts of stalking, threatening her neighbors and hitting one of them with her car, as well as violating court orders. The prosecution maintained that DiSieno threatened and harassed her neighbors for months because she saw them as "her enemies."

The defense argued that DiSieno was only harassed by her neighbors because they disliked the animal rescue shelter she operated on her Carriage Drive property. Testimony revealed that the Nohrs never personally witnessed DiSieno throwing rocks at their home, or caught anything on video from their surveillance cameras. 

At the conclusion of trial, on May 25, the jury acquitted DiSieno of assaulting or threatening/stalking her neighbors, but found her guilty of violating court orders. She was sentenced to two years informal probation.

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-- Staff Reports

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