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Trial in fatal DUI incident postponed
Man accused of killing PO mom last January won’t face jury until next year
A 33-year-old North Kitsap man charged with vehicular homicide in the death of Port Orchard resident Jessica Z. Torres won’t stand trial until next year, according to Kitsap County Superior Court documents.
Stephen T. Harvey Jr., who was allegedly driving while under the influence of both alcohol and drugs, will not go to trial until Feb. 2, 13 months after the crash that killed the 34-year-old mother of two.
His trial was originally scheduled to begin Nov. 17, and if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Torres was killed as she drove home from her office in Poulsbo the evening of Jan 21, 2008. At around 5:30 p.m. on the 22600 block of Clear Creek Road, investigators from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reported that Harvey, driving a 2001 Volkswagen Passat, veered first onto the northbound shoulder, then overcorrected and drove into the opposite lane of traffic.
Harvey then collided with Torres, driving a 2000 Mazda Protege, pushing her vehicle back 30 feet, then continuing another 70 feet and hitting two trees before stopping. By the time it stopped, Harvey’s vehicle had lost “most of its front end, motor, transmission and entire front passenger side tire assembly,” and the “instrument cluster was ejected.”
Investigators were unable to determine the exact speed that Harvey’s vehicle was traveling at when it struck Torres, but the Passat’s speedometer was reportedly stuck at 75 mph, and deputies determined the vehicle had “lost 44 mph prior to impact.”
Torres was critically injured and died at the scene. Harvey was taken to Harrison Medical Center and treated and released.
No occupants other than the drivers were in the vehicles.
Following his release from Harrison, Harvey was arrested and booked into the Kitsap County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide and held on $100,000 bail.
He made a preliminary appearance in Kitsap County Superior Court shortly after the crash, but was not formally arraigned until late this summer.
According to witnesses who stopped at the accident scene, including a police officer visiting from Indiana, Harvey appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants.
The first deputy who contacted Harvey detected “an odor of intoxicants” coming from him. Blood was drawn from the suspect, which reportedly revealed he was above the legal limit for alcohol content and detected marijuana, as well.
Deputies also reportedly found an open and “half-empty,” 1.75-liter bottle of Jim Bean Black whiskey in Harvey’s vehicle.
In June, when asked why charges has not yet been filed, Kitsap Deputy Prosecutor Andy Anderson said the details surrounding the Jan. 21 accident “turned out to be more complicated than we anticipated.”