A nationally known human resources consultant from Murphys pleaded no contest to felony driving under the influence of alcohol and admitted a special enhancement of causing great bodily injury Friday morning in the Calaveras County Superior Court.

According to the plea signed by both Beth De Lima and Calaveras County Deputy District Attorney Tracy Witry, De Lima will serve 90 days in county jail, followed by 90 days on an electronic monitoring device and five years of formal probation.

De Lima was charged with felony driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury on March 15 when her 2012 Audi collided head-on with a 2015 Dodge driven by a Bret Harte High School administrator, Heath Lane, on Murphys Grade Road.

According to the the California Highway Patrol, De Lima was traveling westbound at an unknown speed on Murphys Grade Road, east of Fairview Lane, when her vehicle traveled into the eastbound lane on a curve in the road.

Lane was driving about 30 miles per hour in the eastbound lane, a CHP news release said.

The news release noted that both De Lima and Lane were airlifted to Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto, Lane for major injuries, and De Lima for minor injuries.

De Lima said acknowledged in court Friday her blood alcohol content was .15 — more than twice the legal limit — at the time of the accident.

Following the hearing, De Lima declined to comment, but noted that she had seven surgeries since the collision.

CHP - San Andreas area Officer Tobias Butzler said that he was not aware of any supplemental or additional reports made on the accident following the original collision report.

“I can't think of any new information that's come forward that we would need to add to that either,” he said.

Butzler noted that the Calaveras District Attorney’s Office may have conducted their own investigation into the crash after the charges had been turned over to them.

De Lima, president of Murphys-based HRM Consulting, hobbled to her seat next to defense attorney Kenneth Foley, her arm in a sling and her torso wrapped in a medical girdle.

According to the HRM Consulting website, De Lima has acted as an expert witness in dozens of workplace-related cases over the past decade.

Throughout the hearing, De Lima appeared at ease and amiable when discussing the terms of her probation with presiding Judge Timothy Healy. De Lima smiled and nodded, thanking Healy and acknowledging the clarifications he posed about potential prison time if she was ever found to be in violation of her probation.

“I want to make sure you know these things because they are very important,” he said.

During the hearing, Foley sought to confirm that De Lima’s probation could be reduced to informal status after her release from jail, and noted that Lane would not be seeking restitution in the case.

“I want people to know my client is a professional person,” he said.

De Lima had been charged with two counts of felony driving under the influence with the special enhancement great bodily injury. According to the plea, one of the counts and a special enhancement were dismissed.

A sentencing for the terms and conditions of the plea and a victim witness statement from Lane was scheduled for Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.















18966286