Published Thursday, July 10, 2014 | 12:07 p.m.
Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014 | 5:40 p.m.
Dabbing tears from her eyes, a former Las Vegas strip club dancer pleaded guilty today to driving under the influence of alcohol during an accident that killed a man and fractured the skull of his 2-year-old son.
Shauna Miller's plea came a week before her trial in Clark County District Court was scheduled to begin and more than a year after the crash in which James Joseph White, 33, was killed.
Through a deal offered by state prosecutors, Miller, who originally faced two felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury or death, pleaded guilty instead to a single count.
Friends and family of Miller and White crowded Judge Valorie Vega's courtroom at this morning's hearing, their eyes welling as the defendant stood before them in a jail-issued jumpsuit and handcuffs.
White's relatives said they were relieved Miller admitted to the crime, although they're angry she did so more than a year after the wreck.
"It just seems like she could have not dragged it out for so long," said Janice Lacey, White's aunt. "There's been absolutely no sign or indication from her of remorse. The healing process begins with an apology."
Rachel Sidor, White's longtime girlfriend, said the couple's son has mostly recovered from his injuries but his left eye deviates occasionally as a result of the impact. The toddler shares his father's name.
"He keeps me going," Sidor said smiling as she scrolled through her cell phone in search for photographs of the child, stopping when she reached her favorite – an image of James Jr. grinning at the camera in his underwear.
Miller, 27, was on her way home from a shift dancing at the Spearmint Rhino about 7 a.m. March 23, 2013, when her Hummer crashed with White's Ford Escort at West Spring Mountain and South Wynn roads, Metro Police said.
According to a Metro arrest report, Miller told police she’d had two beers during her work shift and had taken a Xanax about 8 p.m. the previous day. Prosecutors allege Miller’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit to drive.
Miller's relatives, through their attorney Sean Sullivan, declined to comment after this morning's hearing.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11 in Clark County District Court. Miller remains jailed in the Clark County Detention Center.