The woman charged with manslaughter in the deaths of a Louisville police detective and a University of Kentucky employee did not attend her arraignment Friday in Fayette District Court but her attorney entered a not-guilty plea on her behalf.
Suzanne M. Whitlow, 26, had admitted drinking several “vodka and cranberry” drinks before her arrest early Oct. 29, according to court documents. She is accused of driving under the influence and manslaughter after she struck Louisville detective Jason Schweitzer, 37, and UK employee Timothy Moore, 56, at South Upper and Bolivar streets, records show.
Moore, a third-shift employee in UK’s Heating and Cooling Division at UK’s Peterson Service Building on South Upper, was giving directions to Schweitzer to Tolly Ho restaurant. Schweitzer was in Lexington for a Fraternal Order of Police convention.
During the arraignment, the first-offense DUI against Whitlow was amended to a second-offense DUI within five years. The change was made to reflect a 2014 DUI conviction.
Fayette District Judge Joseph Bouvier also approved a pretrial suspension of Whitlow’s driver’s license. Her bond was set at $15,500 cash.
Bouvier scheduled a Dec. 19 preliminary hearing, at which time a judge will hear evidence on whether there is probable cause for the case to go to a grand jury for possible indictment.
Lexington defense attorney Jerry Wright waived formal arraignment for Whitlow because he said she “is back in treatment.” He declined to say whether that was for alcohol- or substance-abuse treatment or treatment for injuries suffered in the collision.
Whitlow was booked Thursday into the Fayette County Detention Center after having been hospitalized immediately following the collision. She was in jail custody earlier Friday, according to an official there.
After she lost control of her Dodge vehicle and struck Schweitzer and Moore, Whitlow exhibited “slurred” and “incoherent” speech, according to court records. She also had a “strong odor of alcohol on breath and person.”
Whitlow had completed DUI classes for a previous conviction and license suspension just a few weeks before Schweitzer and Moore were killed, according to court records. She also had a history of violating probation and landing back in jail for drinking alcohol and failing to complete substance abuse or alcohol counseling.