HomeNewsWho is Marshella Chidester? Grandmother Faces Murder Charges for Birthday Party Crash

    Who is Marshella Chidester? Grandmother Faces Murder Charges for Birthday Party Crash

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    • Marshella Chidester, 66, was charged with murder after crashing into a birthday party, killing two children and injuring several others.
    • Chidester’s attorney claims she had a history of epileptic seizures, while prosecutors argue her blood alcohol level was high.
    • Victims’ family members express grief and anguish during the arraignment, highlighting the devastating impact of the tragedy.

    Marshella Chidester, a 66-year-old woman, faced severe charges on Tuesday following a tragic incident at Swan Boat Club in Monroe County, Michigan.

    Reports stated that Chidester crashed her car into a birthday party, resulting in the deaths of two young siblings.

    The police reported that she was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

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    During the arraignment hearing on Tuesday, Chidester was charged with two counts of second-degree murder, along with additional charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol, causing both death and serious injury.

    Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough disclosed that the accident occurred around 3 p.m. on Saturday when Chidester’s vehicle collided with the building where the party was being held, tragically striking and killing Zayn Phillips, aged 4, and his 8-year-old sister, Alanah Phillips.

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    Another sibling sustained serious injuries but survived. In total, 15 people were injured in the crash.

    Chidester’s bond was set at $1.5 million, and if convicted, she could face life imprisonment.

    An investigative journalist revealed a potential connection between Chidester and Kelly Jean Sovey, the owner of Verna’s Tavern, suggesting that Chidester may have been at the tavern before the crash.

    However, these claims remain unverified.

    Chidester’s attorney, Bill Colovos, argued during the hearing that his client had a history of epileptic seizures in her legs, which he claimed led to the loss of control of her vehicle.

    He contested the allegations of intoxication, stating that Chidester had only consumed one glass of wine at the bar, citing a search warrant executed at the establishment to support his claim.

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    Prosecuting Attorney Jeffery A. Yorkey countered Colovos’s claims, asserting that Chidester’s blood alcohol level was “significantly” high, although the exact level was not disclosed.

    He refuted the suggestion that Chidester’s actions were solely due to a seizure, emphasizing the evidence of intoxication.

    The tragedy deeply affected the victims’ family members, who emotionally addressed the court during the arraignment.

    Mariah, the children’s mother, was left devastated by the loss of her babies, according to her sister Raquel Smouthers.

    Kathy Phillips, the children’s grandmother, expressed anguish, blaming Chidester’s decision to drink and drive for the loss of her grandbabies.

    The incident sparked widespread shock and sorrow within the community, prompting questions about the safety of roads and the consequences of driving under the influence.

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