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$1.5 million bond for woman in custody, accused of manslaughter in deaths of sisters, unborn child
BEAUMONT/LUMBERTON - by Scott Lawrence
KFDM News has learned a judge has set bond at a total of $1.5 million for a suspect Lumberton Police arrested on three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of a woman, her unborn child and the woman's sister in a crash before which troopers say the driver was traveling at more than 150 miles an hour when she was first clocked in Jasper and 120 miles an hour just before the collision.
Watch Live at 5 and KFDM News at 6 for more on the story.
Crystal Lummus Boyett, 40, of Kirbyville, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon in Kirbyville, according to information Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins provided to KFDM News. Sullins took part in the arrest and transported Boyett to the Lumberton Police Department before driving her to the Hardin County Jail. He told KFDM News she didn't give a statement to investigators. Her bond is $500,000 for each of three counts of manslaughter.
Manslaughter is a 2nd Degree Felony. If convicted, she could face a punishment ranging from probation to 2-20 years in prison. Blood was drawn from her at the hospital, which is standard procedure in such a crash. Investigators want to know if she was under the influence at the time of the crash and why she was driving so fast.
Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins has identified the victims as Connely Renee Burns, 20, of Lumberton and her sister, Courtney Ray Sterling, 15, of Lumberton. Connely was pregnant and her boy was due in March. Connelly and her unborn child died at the scene. Courtney died Tuesday at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth.
Connely was in the rear seat of her family's Nissan Murano. Her sister, Courtney was driving the Murano. Their mother, Dawn Sterling, 46, was in the front passenger seat. They're in critical condition at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, according to Sullins.
Chief Sullins says his department received a call shortly before 8 p.m. Monday for an attempt to locate the driver of a red 2012 Chevrolet Camaro traveling south from Jasper County. Sullins says a DPS trooper clocked the driver at a speed greater than 150 miles an hour.
Sullins' officers were working a minor accident on Highway 96 in the north end of Lumberton when they saw the vehicle come by and clocked it at 121 miles an hour. They saw the driver going in and out of traffic before they lost sight of the Camaro.
Sullins says one of his officers working in the sound end of Lumberton saw the crash in his rearview mirror. Sullins called it a "horrific scene." The Camaro struck the rear of the Murano and pushed it off the highway and onto the grassy median near the service road.
Chief Sullins says Burns graduated from Lumberton High School. He told us her husband was working in the oil industry in North Dakota when he learned about the accident that killed his wife and her their unborn child. He's traveling back to Lumberton to be with the family.