A nationally known human resources consultant from Murphys was released from the Calaveras County Jail on Wednesday after serving 45 days of her 180-day sentence and will spend the remainder of her time on either a home electronic monitoring system or in three seperate increments in jail in 2018.
Beth De Lima, who pleaded no-contest to felony driving under the influence of alcohol with a special enhancement of causing great bodily injury to a Bret Harte High School administrator, Heath Lane, was remanded to the Calaveras County Jail on Jan. 22 and earned 45 days credit for time served.
De Lima emerged from jail in a sling and noted that her need for physical therapy and other professional obligations from the accident had prompted her request for an alternative sentence.
Her attorney, Ken Foley of San Andreas, noted that he had filed a request with Calaveras County probation for an electronic home monitoring program.
If that request is denied, Judge Timothy Healy allowed for an incremental sentence where De Lima would serve 14 days from May 29 to June 11, 14 days from Aug. 7 to Aug. 20, and the remainder of her time beginning on Sept. 4.
After Deputy District Attorney Traci Witry reviewed the sentencing requirements, De Lima interjected, “can I say something?”
“No,” Foley responded, before De Lima mentioned earning an additional four days of service while in the jail.
Later in the hearing, Foley interrupted De Lima, who had made repeated statements regarding her incarceration and the nature of the plea agreement.
“Please, please, will you do me a favor?” he asked sharply, his voice aggravated as he turned toward her.
Healy had previously asked for 30-day increments on the separate sentence, indicating that earned time could not be assumed.
“What happens if you get into a big brawl...or lead an escape?” he asked. “Nobody expects that, but what if you do?”
Healy relented on the idea when it was noted that no matter how much time De Lima had left on her sentence, it would be served consecutively beginning on Sept. 4.
“This is a unique situation. The court is working with everybody” in the “spirit of the negotiated resolution,” he said.
Witry had previously mentioned that she did not believe De Lima was eligible for electronic monitoring due to the violent nature of the offense.
Healy speculated that electronic monitoring would have to be spent for a total of 90 days, but added that he was not sure.
“So we’re changing the agreement again?” De Lima said and stated her belief that electronic home monitoring would still earn time for a total of 45 days served.
The victim in the case, Heath Lane, was not present at the hearing.
Lane was extracted using the Jaws of Life by emergency personnel from his totalled 2015 Dodge after De Lima slammed into his vehicle head-on with her 2012 Audi on Murphys Grade Road.
Lane sustained facial, hip and tibia fractures, and was in a wheelchair for three months following the collision.
De Lima’s 0.15 BAC was referenced multiple times during the hearing and Healy noted she would have to enroll in a DMV program to reinstate her license.
At the conclusion of the hearing, De Lima was led back into jail holding, but waved at a group of family.
De Lima was to report to probation to file for an alternative monitoring program, Foley said.