Monday, June 24, 2013 | 2:09 p.m.
A December trial is scheduled for the dancer accused of being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana in March when her vehicle was involved in a collision that killed the father of a 2-year-old.
Shauna Diane Miller, 26, pleaded not guilty to felony DUI charges during her arraignment Monday in Clark County District Court. Criminal Arraignment Master Melisa De La Garza set a Dec. 9 trial date for Miller’s case.
Miller, who was on her way home from a shift as a dancer at the Spearmint Rhino strip club, was driving a Hummer H2 shortly after 7 a.m. March 23 when the vehicle collided with a Ford Escort near West Spring Mountain and South Wynn roads. The Escort driver, James Joseph White, 33, died. His 2-year-old son was in the backseat and sustained bruises and a skull fracture.
White was less than two blocks from his home when the accident occurred, records indicate.
According to a Metro Police report, Miller had told investigating officers the light switched from green to yellow while she was driving west on Spring Mountain and that when she saw the Escort turn right from Wynn on to Spring Mountain, she tried to brake.
Miller also told police she’d had two beers hours during her work shift. She’d also said she had taken a Xanax around 8 the previous night.
Prosecutors and some witnesses dispute that the light was yellow when the accident occurred. They also maintain Miller's blood-alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit and that the amount of marijuana in her system was more than five times the legal threshold for the amount of marijuana metabolites present in a driver’s bloodstream.
At trial, the defense will be calling witness Maria Saucedo, who gave a statement saying the light had turned yellow. The immediacy of Saucedo's statement will be important in the trial, said Sean Sullivan, Miller's attorney. Other witnesses didn't give statements until weeks after the accident.
During a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Sullivan questioned why police did not check if White had a record but did check Miller’s record.
"I think it's going to create a lot of doubt as to who caused the accident," said Sullivan, who during the preliminary hearing brought up that White has a record.