Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 4, 2014

PLEA: Reduced charges for teen involved in fatal crash.

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT -- A Lewiston teen will serve six months in jail and five years of probation after her guilty plea to reduced charges in connection with a fatal accident on Walmore Road in May.

Taylor Clause, 18, pleaded guilty to charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and first-degree vehicular assault in a deal with prosecutors. She had faced a 23-count grand jury indictment that charged her with driving drunk and high and killing a passenger in her car.

Prosecutors said they offered Clause a deal after "issues" emerged with a witness in the case. She had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular manslaughter, three counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, first-degree aggravated vehicular assault, first-degree vehicular assault, three counts of second-degree vehicular assault, three counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of marijuana, driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, imprudent speed, failure to reduce speed on a curve and failure to stay in a lane.

Assistant District Attorney Theodore Brenner told State Supreme Court Justice Richard Kloch Sr. that the family of the victim, Jasmin Dubuc, 19, of Cayuga Drive, had agreed to the plea deal.

"They've agreed to this, reluctantly, as the least bad option on a list of worst options," Brenner said. 

Outside the courtroom, Dubuc's father, Steve, expressed his frustration.

"I'm not happy," he said. "It's a travesty of justice, but under the circumstances, what could we do?"

Clause was accused of being behind the wheel during the one-car rollover accident that killed Dubuc. The Falls teen was ejected from Clause's 2009 Mazda after the car failed to negotiate a curve while traveling north in the early morning hours on Walmore Road, near Mount Hope Road. 

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