I detest drunks. I won’t judge someone for drinking but I won’t hang around anyone that is drinking either. I grew up around a drunk so I like to think my very strong dislike for drunks comes from seeing it first hand and feeling like alcohol and drugs were always more important than me and my brothers were. There is something I hate more than drunks though, and that’s dumb asses that get behind the wheel while they’re drunk.
I don’t know how my brothers and I ever lived to adulthood. Our family drunk put us in the car nearly every day and drove. It had to be by the grace of God or Allah or Buddah or some deity that we never ended up in a wreck.
I remember being under the legal driving age by quiet a few years and driving this person out to the liquor store to get alcohol. Our county was dry so you had to drive about 10-15 miles to the closest store. It was always the family joke that he could drive better drunk than he could sober.
I learned a lot of little life lesson’s from this person’s negative example, so I am thankful for that. One of those lessons were that I do not drink at all, ever, and my husband doesn’t drink either.
I just can’t comprehend what possesses people to get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking.
This is Callie Long, age 62. As you’ve probably figured out from my opening she likes to drink and drive. She graced the headlines with her presence on August 27, 2003 in Lubbock, TX. This case infuriates me and I think know it will you to. After 7 years the people of Lubbock are still pissed about Callie Long and the injustice that was done.
Callie, like many other drunk drivers and in spite of all evidence to the contrary, decided she was able to drive. She was driving down the access road of the 3600 block of Loop 289 at 11:22 p.m. when she mowed down 29-year-old cyclist Brett Walrath, a former personal assistant to criminal DA Bill Sowder in her 1993 Lexus.
Most people would stop immediately and get out and try to assist the victim and call 911 for help. Callie isn’t most people, she’s a drunk and only thinks of herself. Callie continued on her little journey and Mr. Walrath was hit a second time by another vehicle.
Callie was stopped a few blocks later – fortunately someone must have witnessed her run down Mr. Walrath and called her license plates in. Guess what happened then? Yep, she failed a field sobriety test and was arrested on intoxication assault. She had a BAC of .13.
She was held in the Lubbock County Jail in lieu of $75,000.00 bond. Callie posted bond and was out the next day. See, Callie was a successful real estate agent, owning Callie Long Realty and was moderately wealthy so the bond was not an issue.
While Callie sat her self in jail for the very short amount of time she was there, Mr. Walrath was laid up in ICU at UMC Hospital fighting for his life while his pregnant wife prayed he would pull through.
Mr. Walrath suffered closed-head trauma, brain stem damage, multiple fractures and was in a coma. He was taken in for surgery the next morning and was described as being “gravely injured”. Callie was indicted on November 24th, 2004 for intoxicated assault and failure to stop and render aid.
Brett was in a coma for almost 5 months before he succumbed to his injuries, in April of 2005. Accordingly, the charges against Callie Long were upgraded to intoxicated manslaughter with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault and failure to stop and render aid.
She was also found guilty on those charges. She faced a sentence of two to twenty years in prison. Two to twenty years isn’t much of a sentence in my opinion when your talking about murder but it’s at least something.
Now her’s wher things get a bit confusing, so I’m going to let Lubbock Online tell it for me:
Long was convicted in April 2005 of intoxicated manslaughter and given a two-year sentence with the finding that a deadly weapon – her car – was used in the crime. That would have meant she would have served the full two years in prison.
However, an appeals court overturned the case because the jury had not been given the opportunity to convict her of the lesser charge of driving while intoxicated.
Her recent trial was for the offense of failing to stop and render aid. She was convicted but given a six-month term of probation. District Judge Brad Underwood added 60 days in jail as a term of probation or she would not have been required to serve any time in jail.
Sounds pretty routine, right? But wait, we’re not done yet. Long appealed her 2007 conviction for failing to stop and render aid. Prosecutor Hobson then announced his intent to refile the DUI manslaughter charges.
Back to the negotiations table!
Long on Thursday pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, bringing an end to years of protracted legal battles between Long’s attorney, Danny Hurley, and Special Prosecutor Rod Hobson.
Part of the agreement that came with pleading to the Class B misdemeanor, Long agreed to drop the appeal of her 2007 failure to stop and render aid conviction and Hobson dismissed pending intoxication manslaughter and aggravated assault charges.
So Callie Long essentially served no time in prison for taking the life of Brett Walrath. She served sixty days for failure to render aid, and another ninety days for intoxication manslaughter. Five months of Callie Long’s life equals the sum total of Brett Walrath’s life.
Once again, the message is a life taken by a drunk driver isn’t worth as much as a life taken in any other manner. Once again, the lesson is that the consequences of killing a person while driving intoxicated are that there are no consequences. It’s sad, really.
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE? Where is the justice for Brett and his family? How could our system fail? After all these years I still cannot help but to get furious when I think of Callie. I can feel my blood boil and my face turn red when I think of the miscarriage of justice in this case. I can not believe this bitch is driving around on the same streets that my family and friends are driving on and my son will soon be driving on. It makes me sick!
Brett paid with his life for Callie to have a night of fun. Brett was never able to hold his first born child – he ought to be in the 1st grade now. Callie has gone on with her life, she wakes up everyday, I’m sure her life hasn’t changed that much. Certainly not as much as Brett’s families lives have changed. It’s been said a hundred times Callie Long never showed any emotion or remorse for what she has done.
Most of the stories I write because I feel a closeness to or some kind of bond that I can’t always explain or put into words. I was born in Lubbock, TX and lived there for many years. Most of my family and friends still live there, my 2 teenage sons still live there with their dad.
Although it is my birthplace I’ve always stood by my belief that Lubbock is run by a ‘Good ol’ boys’ network’ It’s always been about who you know and how much money you have. This is a prime example and there’s many more cases like this in Lubbock. I plan to write about everyone I know about because there are a lot of victim’s in Lubbock that have been forgotten and have not received the proper justice they deserved. In this case, our justice system failed.
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