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Woman indicted on murder, other charges for fatal crash

Posted: Thursday, November 07, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage woman has been indicted on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and other charges stemming from a drunken-driving crash in July that killed a South Dakota teen.

Michele Pungowiyi, 28, had previously been named in court papers that charged her with most of the crimes listed in Wednesday's indictment, handed up in Superior Court.

Besides murder and manslaughter, Pungowiyi is charged with three counts of third-degree assault and one count of felony driving while intoxicated.

Pungowiyi has three prior convictions for DWI and numerous other criminal convictions.

According to papers, Pungowiyi ran a stop sign on July 23, hiting the vehicle in which Chaz Crabb, 17, his uncle and his grandparents were riding.

Crabb, sitting in the left rear, took the brunt of the impact and was killed, authorities said. The others received relatively minor injuries.

Pungowiyi's blood alcohol level at the time was 0.13 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, and her urine tested positive for cocaine, according to court papers.

A conviction for second-degree murder carries a sentence of 10 to 99 years in jail.



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