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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Court documents show vehicular homicide victim was dragged

Recently filed court documents provide new details in the case of a woman accused of hitting a 25-year-old man with her car in April and dragging him more than a third of a mile.

Tamala K. Booth, 50, was arrested April 25 and charged with vehicular homicide in connection with the death of Jeffery Valentine. She’s being held in Spokane County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Valentine was killed when he was hit by a car at the intersection of Third Avenue and Arthur Street in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood at about 11:30 p.m. on April 24. According to court records, his body was dragged for about 0.4 of a mile before the car came to a rest in the intersection of Third Avenue and Liberty Park Place near Liberty Park.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner said Valentine died of “extensive fractures of base and vault of skull with avulsion of frontal brain due to blunt impact to head.” The manner is listed as accidental.

Court records say arriving officers found Booth outside of the vehicle – which was straddling the north curb and had blood on its front end – and she was “hysterical.” She admitted to consuming alcohol hours before, and officers noted an odor of alcohol on her breath.

According to court documents, three witnesses who were stopped at a red light on Arthur Street saw Booth’s car traveling between “60 and 70 mph in the posted 30 mph zone” as she was racing to beat a yellow light. The witnesses said the car struck Valentine as he was crossing Third Avenue.

In a search warrant filed May 4 in Spokane Superior Court, officers requested Booth’s medical records to evaluate whether the woman was on medication at the time of the collision.

Because she was hysterical and not cooperative, court documents say, police were unable to administer a Breathalyzer test. At the hospital after the collision, officers learned that paramedics had given her medication. A sample of her blood was taken.