Attorneys representing Diane Anderson, a Sonora nurse convicted this month on accessory after the fact to vehicular manslaughter for her role in an October 2016 triple-fatal crash, claim she is receiving inadequate medical treatment in the Tuolumne County Jail and are seeking to have her released before sentencing.
Diane Anderson appeared at the Tuolumne County Superior Court Monday morning under escort from deputies and dressed in a striped white and gray Tuolumne County Jail uniform.
Her attorney, Mark Coleman of Fresno, said she was not receiving adequate care for physical ailments, which included peripheral neuropathy, a nerve-damage condition.
“The withdrawals aren’t the issue, it’s the pain,” Coleman said.
Diane Anderson testified in August during her trial at the San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton she takes the nerve-pain medication Gabapentin and the sedative Klonopin for the neuropathy, for two fusions in her back and for unsuccessful lower back surgeries.
Coleman said she received valium while in jail for withdrawals, but she was not receiving the klonopin.
Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg said she contacted a sergeant at the Tuolumne County Jail to retrieve information from a nurse regarding Diane Anderson’s medical treatment.
Krieg said Diane Anderson received valium as detox medication, a supplement medication for gabapentin, food supplements and extra blankets.
Krieg said as of Friday, Diane Anderson was also receiving psychological medication.
Krieg noted Diane Anderson was seen by a psychologist/medical doctor and registered an increase in weight since being in custody.
Diane was shackled at the wrists and ankles and sat in a seat in the jury box before her hearing. She looked backwards toward a group of friends and family in attendance, and later put on glasses when she sat between Coleman and her Sonora attorney, Nathan Nutting.
While Diane Anderson was being led into the South Washington Street courthouse on Monday morning, her daughter and her friends used their hands and a manilla folder to block the public from seeing her or photographing.
Diane Anderson was convicted of accessory after the fact to vehicular manslaughter, failure to perform a duty after an accident, both felonies, and concealing or destroying evidence and obstructing a law enforcement investigation, both misdemeanors, by a jury of seven women and five men on Tuesday Sept. 10.
Her charges stemmed from a collision on J-59 in La Grange that occurred after Diane Anderson’s husband, Danny, passed over the double yellow lines while driving northbound in a 2015 Acura MDX.
The pass caused the driver of a southbound Lexus RX300, 16-year-old Trista Hoffman, to swerve onto the dirt shoulder and back across into the northbound lane, which hit the Toyota Camry that Danny Anderson passed. The crash resulted in the death of Trista, her mother Tina Hoffman, and Rheinholt Eisemann, a passenger in the Camry.
The Andersons did not tell officers the pass occurred or that they may be involved when they returned to the collision scene. The California Highway Patrol initiated a public search for the Acura, which the Andersons owned jointly, before they sold it in Southern California.
Diane Anderson was incarcerated in the San Joaquin County Jail after her conviction and transferred to the Tuolumne County Jail three days later. She has remained in custody without bail for her sentencing hearing on Oct. 7.
Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge Kevin Seibert issued an order that a representative of Tuolumne County Jail medical staff appear in court Tuesday afternoon to speak about Diane Anderson’s treatment.
Seibert also noted a declaration submitted by the defense included doctor advice that Diane Anderson be tapered off of medication she was using before her conviction.
Seibert set the hearing for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Seibert will also hear a renewed motion from the defense to have Diane Anderson released on bail pending her sentencing.
Seibert noted he already ruled on the issue following the conviction — he denied it on the grounds that she said she may harm herself to avoid prison — but indicated he would make a ruling on the new motion Tuesday.
The hearing was initially moved to Tuesday because Krieg said she was not served in a timely manner with the motion to set bail.
Seibert said the document showed it was placed in the mail on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Krieg said she did not receive it until Friday afternoon and after she was sent a supplemental email from one of Diane Anderson’s attorneys.
Diane Anderson rose to her feet and spoke with Coleman before being escorted out of the courtroom by deputies. A court bailiff asked Diane Anderson’s family and friends to remain in the courtroom.
Diane Anderson’s trial lasted 11 days, which featured testimony from 20 prosecution witnesses. During the trial, Danny Anderson invoked constitutional and spousal privileges to not testify against his wife.
The defense called 11 witnesses and recalled four of the prosecution witnesses. Danny Anderson testified for the defense.
Danny Anderson was convicted of triple manslaughter last year and sentenced to serve five years and four months in state prison. He denied that his pass caused the collision.
Danny Anderson is in the California Institution for Men in Chino.