An Elwood woman waived her right to a trial Friday afternoon in Dawson County District Court and entered a guilty plea to Motor Vehicle Homicide. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, 19-year-old Hailey Boutin’s charge was reduced from a Class 3A Felony to a Class I Misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.
The case stems from an accident 9 miles south of Cozad on Highway 21 that occurred September 19, 2016. A Dawson County Sheriff’s Office report indicates a car, driven by Boutin, failed to stop at a stop sign and struck an SUV that was traveling on the highway. The collision caused the SUV to enter the ditch and roll several times. A passenger in the SUV, 59-year-old Mary Robertson of rural Cozad, was pronounced dead at the scene. A court affidavit indicates that moments before the accident, there was a sent and read text messages on Boutin’s cell phone. During Friday’s hearing Deputy Dawson County Attorney Matt Neher said further investigation showed Boutin was traveling about the speed limit at the time she went through the stop sign.
District Judge Jim Doyle accepted Boutin’s plea and ordered a pre-sentence investigation report by the District #11 Probation Office. Sentencing was set for July 17, 2017 at 8:30am.