McKewon arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI | November 16, 2007 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 16, 2007

McKewon arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI

Family, friends of both 19-year-old girls fill seats at arraignment

by Janet Pelletier

It was a scene riddled with emotion last Thursday as the arraignment for Katie McKewon, who faces gross vehicular manslaughter and felony drunk driving charges, was held.

Friends and family members of Laurel Williams, who was killed in a car accident Oct. 20, came to the hearing wearing white T-shirts with a picture of Williams wearing a green dress, blowing a kiss to the camera.

The judge presiding in the court hearing, a stern Judge Hugh Walker, set McKewon's bail at $250,000. She was arrested Nov. 7 on a no-bail warrant. The ruling came after some emotional testimony from both the prosecutor in the case and McKewon's defense attorney.

"This is a tragic case involving two best friends," Defense Attorney Kirk Elliot told the judge.

Described as McKewon's best friend, Williams, 19, was killed in a head-on collision on Foothill Road, north of Highland Oaks Drive. McKewon, also 19, was driving. Pleasanton police released the results of a toxicology report, revealing McKewon had a blood alcohol content of three times the legal limit of .08.

"It's in that range," said Lt. Tom Fenner of the Pleasanton Police Department. "We're not releasing the exact amount but it's pretty close to that amount."

Toxicology reports for Williams may take several weeks to get from the coroner's office, he added.

Results showed that there were no drugs in her system, according to Fenner.

The Alameda County District Attorney's office has charged McKewon with gross vehicular manslaughter, which carries a sentence of between four and 10 years if convicted. She also faces a felony charge of drunk driving, assessed due to a 70-year-old woman in a Mercedes SUV who was critically injured in the collision.

According to the California Penal Code, if proven guilty, the gross vehicular manslaughter charge is punishable by a state prison term of between four and 10 years. Comparably, a lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter (without gross negligence) is punishable by 16 months to four years.

McKewon's attorney said she had been staying at a residential alcohol treatment facility in Berkeley, where she surrendered to police Nov. 7.

While Elliot asserted that McKewon was not a flight risk and did not have a history of violence, Judge Walker said he couldn't forget the fact that McKewon had been arrested in June on a different alcohol-related charge, which Elliot described as assault against a police officer and public drunkenness. Neither charge has gone through the court system yet and Elliot said there is some disagreement on the assault charge. He said parties were looking at a deal to reduce the charges, but nothing's been worked out.

"It's too bad she didn't learn anything from her June 10th arrest," Judge Walker said.

"I'm sorry that you couldn't get to her sooner," the judge added, looking at McKewon's parents sitting in the front row.

After the judge's ruling in favor of setting bail, he cautioned Elliot that his client would not be allowed to drive, have any amount of alcohol in her system and must return to rehab to stay there seven days a week, 24 hours a day. If any of those orders were broken, he said he would revoke the bail.

The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for next Tuesday, where the defendant will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

After the court session, friends and family of Williams gathered down the hall. A representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving informed the group what they could expect if the case goes to trial.

"It will be long and very difficult for everybody," he said. "It may go on a long time, could be nine months or longer."

Reached by phone after the arraignment, Elliot said he is still putting together the case and all of its details.

"As the facts unfold, there's going to be a lot of information and a lot of details that have not yet come out as to how it happened," he said.

"We're hopeful that another tragedy doesn't happen through the court system and we're hopeful that (McKewon) can get on with her life and focus on the issues that she has."

Elliot said he believes that his client understands the severity of the charges against her.

"It's important to point out as many people have: this is not just a one-sided situation," he said. "Obviously, there are a lot of players involved in this and these are young people. There were a lot of mistakes made by a lot of different parties involved and a lot of those parties haven't come forward. But that doesn't excuse the loss of a life, doesn't excuse drinking and driving to that extent."

Devastating consequences

With a case such as this, police struggle to find ways to spread the message to the community that underage drinking can have devastating consequences. "Obviously, a lot of lives have been ruined," Lt. Fenner said. "Our hearts go out to the Williams family and Katie and her family are never going to be the same, and then all the friends who were there or know these people are going to be affected by it forever too."

The police department has held town hall meetings this past year on underage drinking and plans to continue those.

"There needs to be more discussion--in the community and between families about underage drinking," he said. "It's a tough topic, but it needs to be discussed."

"We did (a town hall meeting) last spring for parents and there was very low turnout. We're very frustrated. We advertised them and we're presenting this information so parents can learn about what their kids are involved in and we're not seeing the interest. It's hard to help people who don't want to attend the meetings or spend the time."

Other programs the police are involved in include the "Every 15 Minutes" demonstration that is a re-enactment of a car accident involving teens who were drinking and those relating to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The hardest part about seeing incidents like these is that they are 100 percent preventable, Fenner said.

"It's hard to get across to people the consequences that can happen to them," he said. "Younger people, especially, think that it's never going to happen to them, but here's another example. This could have been anywhere in America, same story, same bad decisions."

Check for updates to this developing story.


Posted by benson, a resident of another community
on Jan 3, 2008 at 2:28 am

I am a 23 year old recovering alcoholic from the bay area.I have been convicted of drunk driving 3 times.Reading this makes me realize and appreciate how lucky i am.Teens are going to drink,party and what ever regardless.The effort needs to be on education of responsibility,rather than trying to stop underage drinking.I could have been Katie so many times.This poor girl is going to have to live with this forever,in chowchilla,on her wedding day,and so will laurels family.At the age 19 everyone is stupid,naeive,and just want to fit in.No one wins here.Loss of life,loss of freedom.If you drink,dont drive look at katies story,this CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!My deepest sympothys for both families,and katie, prison is no way for a young girl to start her adult life.And death at 19 is just the same.If you are young and reading this dont forget it,and be careful with booze,respect it,because it can bring you to your knees in pain.

Posted by Aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 3, 2008 at 10:56 am

unfortunately like benson before me, i am 2 yrs old, 3 time dui, plus all the times i didn't get caught. each was a big mistake and i am extremely lucky that no-one was ever injured. my fredom was taken for some time, and left me a lot of time to think, about everything, including where i have been where i'm going, and what i wan't. so many people do this day in and day out. i've lost some friends. i've lost family, i lost fredom for some time, and i lost my licence for 5 years. there is no bitterness towards the system for this. i made mistakes and had to deal with them. i feel bad for anyone going into the california detention system, it is not a place for anyone, but sometimes you have to deal with consequences. i've been through a.a, and have come to realize for myself, it my not be the alchohal, but simply me. i made bad choices and i got consequences. booz didn't go to jail i did. i think people should simply appreciate things they have to a point of not risking there fredom, and others safety. this is a very tragic situation, for some reason with way too much press. but very tragic. good luck to all. time and pain heal all. pain is temporary, pride is forever. don't stray from yourself, stay true, and be safe.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 3, 2008 at 12:10 pm

benson & Aaron,

You comments are well taken.

I am grateful that the press has told this story. Katy is in jail where she belongs. I disagree that all 19 yr, olds are "stupid". There are many responsible teens. Unfortunately, the teens that drink/drug and drive make other teens look bad.

All drunk drivers are dangerous and place others at risk. ALL belong in jail for a minimum of 20 years, no more no less!

As for Katy, throw away the key.

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm

i'm sorry cholo, i agree consequences should be had, but 20 yrs is too excessive. and that's why it won't be that. prison can be an awakening for people trapped with nothing but there thoughts for "x" amount of time. people make mistakes, no-one is perfect, and once the law says the consequence is over, as a society we have to fallow that. there is a reason for limiting consequences for crimes. i've seen people get out of jail in 60 days, for possession of an loaded assault rifle, no registrartion, in there vehicle. i personally found it pretty rediculous the someone planning on committing violent crimes, is out on the streets much quicker than someone trying to get home. not planning on harming anyone. making a mistake in judgement. i am far from condoning dui's. it is a terrible thing and we have punishments fitting that crime. no reason to go over board. but possibly look at other crimes as well, and seeing if those punishments fit the crime.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 3, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Oops....I meant to say 25 yrs. to life with no possibility of parole!

Sorry Aaron, we disagree.

Happy New Year!

Posted by friend, a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2008 at 7:18 am

Cholo: I have read many of your blogs and you are just a hateful person who obviously thinks you are better than everybody. God forbid if you, one of your friends or one of your family members ever have to go through something like this. Maybe then you would have a different outlook. I am sure that you, one of your friends or one of your family members have gotten behind the wheel when you shouldn't have and have made other mistakes that are regrettable in life. I really feel sorry for you.

You don't know KATIE, she is a good person, with a good family and good friends. She made a life changing horrible mistake that day and will regret it and have to deal with it for the rest of her life.

She does deserve to suffer the consequences of her actions, and she is and will continue to do so for years (in jail) and for the rest of her life in her own head.

Have some compassion put yourself in her or her families shoes and think about if it happened to your child, your friend, your family member OR even you.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved, Laurel, Katie, both of the families and friends of these girls and the other lady involved and her family.

Posted by friend, a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2008 at 7:34 am

Cholo: What do you think should happen to the young man who supplied the alcohol to these girls and dropped them off at the car knowing that they were drunk? Should he get 25 years to life for his mistake? His intention wasn't for somebody to get hurt or killed but neither was Katie's.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 4, 2008 at 11:45 am

NO MERCY FOR DRUNK DRIVERS! Don't forget, her drunken behavior resulted in the DEATH of another young woman. Cry me a river "friend". Laurel is dead because of Katie. Katie refused to not drink while driving! Like it not, Katie is a danger to society and she's gonna be in jail for a loooooooooooooooooong time! I feel safer knowing that she is behind bars.

Tough love rules...

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

cholo, wow culo, man i don't think you are a realist. i'm sure you and your parents, and brothers, sisters, friends have all driven inebriated. i learned my lesson. but i don't know if there is a lesson book for being a prick. good luck with that.

i believe in tough love, i've been delt it. it works. but this isn't biblical times, we are not chopping off the hands of thieves. and i'd start complaining more about real criminals, like i mentioned before. people getting out of jail in 30 days for loaded weapons charges. assults, robberies, all these people are out of jail withing 6 months. so how is it just to want to take someones freedom away for the crazy amount of 25 yrs. i'm glad i still vote against unfare voters like you, willing to treat non- violent offenders with such scrutany.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm MADD, maybe they can help you understand that killing another individual while driving drunk is a VIOLENT CRIME.



Posted by Kathy, a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 4, 2008 at 11:06 pm

I have been following this sad tragic story since it happened. Katie
chose to drive drunk and therefore should suffer the consequences. Needless to say she will live with this decision for the rest of her life but she at LEAST HAS A LIFE LAUREL DOES NOT!!!!

Bottom line: Katie drove drunk and killed Laurel.

Drunk driving equals death!!!

Posted by benson, a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2008 at 3:41 pm

what do you think a 19 yo girl will be be like upon her release,after serving 25 years ca state time?Not rehabilitaded,the prison sytem does not rehabilitate.She would most likely be a hardend criminal.As for MADD at least 2 of those ladies have a couple duis themselves,their nothing but a bunch of vengful conservatives who dont reap what they sell.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm

After 25 yrs. in prison, Katie will no longer be a Spring Chicken!

If you would like for her to be rehabilitated, then work to change our laws so that she has the opportunity to be rehabilitated while incarcerated. After she is released, she may not want to drink again! You don't have a crystal ball benson, so there is no way that you can know for sure that Katie will become a "hardened criminal". Maybe someday, Katie will join MADD and help out the cause.

Easy does it benson!

Posted by compassion, a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2008 at 7:46 am

I don't know why everyone is talking like Katie is going to get 25 years. Let's be realistic, Katie's not getting 25 years.

In 2002 there was a 20 year old girl in Livermore who was driving drunk and killed three young men. She was sentenced to 6 years and spent 3 years in prison.

Katie is suffering and is and will continue to pay for her actions, I understand that her suffering will never compare to the suffering of Laurel's family and the price Laurel paid. I am not saying that Katie shouldn't pay for her actions that fateful morning, I am just saying that she does not deserve to be hated and persecuted by people who don't know her or the situation at all.

Have some compassion, this is a horrible situation, accident, mistake for all involved, and sadly a lot of people go through it, this isn't the first and it won't be the last.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 7, 2008 at 8:14 am

"Teen brain blamed for poor decisions" Web Link

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 7, 2008 at 9:06 am

There is an enormous amount of research re: teen brain development, alcohol and the teen brain, etc. Judges don't always consider the totality of circumstances and may ignore the latest research re: teen brain development and alcohol.

Katie is the addict that killed Laurel. I have no idea how long she has been drinking or how impaired she has become as a result of drinking.

I also don't know that she even remembers what happened? She will likely be detoxing for several years before she fully understands the implications of her behavior. katie may be so wrapped up with being in her body again that she may not even have feelings about Laurel's death.

The bottom line for me is that she killed another person. She must pay the price and hopefully will go to jail for a very long time.
No mercy here...

Posted by CG, a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Cholo, you are some piece of work. You are so filled with blind hate it saddens me. As others have said god help you if anything like this happens to someone you love.
You and others have blamed this whole tragedy on Katie and her mistake, that she killed Laurel. Have you considered the fact that Laurel was killed because of her own actions.
Drunk drivers do kill innocent people. But drunks, as in Laurels case, are NOT what I would call innocent. She was a willing participant that took her life in her hands just like Katie. They both made the decision to get in that car together and Laurel, God rest her soul, paid the ultimate price.
This problem is not isolated to TEEN BRAINS. It affects all ages and always will. If the government truly wants to stop drinking and driving they would mandate that all cars be fitted with a no-start mechanism while intoxicate (remember when seat belts were)? The technology exists, but it might cost to much.

I could go on but It would do little to get through that thick compassion-less exterior of cholo. You have absolutely NO idea what your talking about. I would guess you have never been trough this type of tragedy. For that I'm glad. No one should have to.

My heart goes out heart goes out to both families they have a lifetime of healing ahead. God be with them all.

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:07 pm

cholo, being that you are soooo pro- tough love, what do you do to your kids when they act up, take them out back and have them pick the switch. turn them black and blue. tough love huh. there is a limit of consequences in effect in california. there is also alternative sentencing in california for drug related crimes. though it is very hard to get the same treatment for alchahol. dope is dope, no-matter what the dope is. unfortunately alameda county, specifically the gale schone hall of justice, has one sentence, jail. bad choices bread bad incidents. not bad people. come one man, think hear. logically. i wish i had the iron fist mentality of you, but i don't. i do agree with you on the priest issue, but not on this. simply on that one because a parish is supposed to lead people, not violate them. for this one though there is no reasoning with you. i don't agree, but i do respect your right to have them. madd is a crock, dare is a crock, all it does is tell you what drugs are, like a catalog. but i'm done with this. good luck to katie and her family, it won't be easy but trust me it is do-able. though unconfortable. just stick to yourself and your own, unfortunately jails and prisons are very political when it comes to race. whites with whites, blacks with blacks, mexicans with mexicans and so forth.

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:07 pm

cholo, being that you are soooo pro- tough love, what do you do to your kids when they act up, take them out back and have them pick the switch. turn them black and blue. tough love huh. there is a limit of consequences in effect in california. there is also alternative sentencing in california for drug related crimes. though it is very hard to get the same treatment for alchahol. dope is dope, no-matter what the dope is. unfortunately alameda county, specifically the gale schone hall of justice, has one sentence, jail. bad choices bread bad incidents. not bad people. come one man, think hear. logically. i wish i had the iron fist mentality of you, but i don't. i do agree with you on the priest issue, but not on this. simply on that one because a parish is supposed to lead people, not violate them. for this one though there is no reasoning with you. i don't agree, but i do respect your right to have them. madd is a crock, dare is a crock, all it does is tell you what drugs are, like a catalog. but i'm done with this. good luck to katie and her family, it won't be easy but trust me it is do-able. though unconfortable. just stick to yourself and your own, unfortunately jails and prisons are very political when it comes to race. whites with whites, blacks with blacks, mexicans with mexicans and so forth.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 7, 2008 at 5:37 pm

I believe that Katie will remain toxic for years. How can anybody in early recovery truly understand the implications of their drunken behavior, especially when they kill somebody? It takes drunks years to reclaim their feelings; they use alcohol to shut down and numb out. They say things like, Beam Me Up Scotty, This Planet Sucks! They get high because it feels good. Like I said, I doubt that Katie feels much of anything about the death of Laurel! She's probably so terrified of her feelings that she must disconnect (dissociate) just to get by.

If you see her, she is probably way out to lunch, her body in front of you but Katie is way way out in left field. I don't think that she is able to take up residence in her body yet...too bad! She's probably more like a piece of meat with eyes that blink. If she wants recovery, she has an uphill battle. She will have to fight to get it.
I doubt that she is ready to admit anything. Yup, I agree with CG, Katie is some piece of work!

Sorry mes petites, NO MERCY HERE!

Posted by CG, a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2008 at 6:11 pm

You misunderstand me Cholo. You better re-read my statement. You are the piece of work here, not Katie. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about! You talk like Katie is alcoholic. Do you know her personally, no that she can't do without alcohol, do you even know the definition of an alcoholic?

People are drunk after five/six drinks over a short period. This does not make you an alcoholic. The fact that you say someone that drinks will be toxic for years after they stop just goes to show how idiotic and nonfactual you are.

People like you make me sick. You throw your opinions around like you know everything about everyone. You don't no (anything) about the law, the prison system, or drinking. Your just full of hot air!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 7, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Easy Does It CG...

Some drunks say that by the time that you've earned 3 dui's, it's diagnostic that you're a certified drunk! I think that we agree that Katie is a drunk driver with a history of intoxication.

It not so much about how much you drink but how you're affected by what you drink. It seems to me that Katie was significantly toxic by what she drank, at least enough to result in Laurel's death.

The human brain has a remarkable capacity to heal. If Katie is no longer drinking, she will have to eat well, exercise daily, rest, avoid sugar, and find ways to cope with the changes in her body chemistry. She may even have to be placed on medications to help her cope with the emotional roller coaster that will continue for a long time. After all, she is loosing her best friend, alcohol!

Drunks need time to detox physically, emotionally and spiritually. Katie will need to stay away from supporters who misunderstand her illness and argue that she is the victim. I also agree with CG that the issue here is drunk driving. You don't have to
label her an "alcoholic". Perhaps calling Katie a drunk driver is more to the point.

Incidentally, are you a drunk CG? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Posted by compassion, a resident of another community
on Jan 8, 2008 at 7:41 am

Cholo, you don't know Katie personally so you shouldn't be calling her names and making assumptions on what she is feeling and how she is acting, you know what they say about people who assume.
I don't think that anybody is making Katie out to be a victim. Just because people believe that Laurel has some responsibility in this horrific accident doesn't imply that Katie is a victim. Everyone knows that Katie made a horrible decision, a huge mistake and is and will pay for it for the rest of her life, her family as well.
You are a horrible person and I feel sorry for you and your friends and family now and especially, God forbid, something like this does happen to one of you. Having so much hate inside must make you a miserable person.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 8, 2008 at 11:06 am

It seems to me that there is a funeral going on inside "compassion". There is a vast body of literature re: addiction medicine. I suggest that you conduct a literature review "compassion". You seem to need some basic information about chemical dependency/abuse.

Trivializing drunk driving by framing it as a "horrible decision, a huge mistake" will not fly in a court of law. Katie is the drunk driver that caused the death of Laurel.

I do not know Katie personally but I agree with you that she is Drunk Driver. Can you please help me understand how ignorance is compassion?

Posted by matt, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 8, 2008 at 11:47 am

what do you know of addiction or compassion cholo, i have been reading some of your stuff here, and it is obsurd. who are you? you know nothing but some blind sided opinions, you gather from others. what life experiences have you had and people you have personally know. people probably don't tell you anything in your own family due to your scrutiny. blind hate make one a fool. i'll tell you what, you'll never hit a target with your eyes closed. your target being truth. have you ever had a problem with any substance? have you ever even had a drink? your like a madd nazi.

Posted by compassion, a resident of another community
on Jan 8, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Cholo, are you saying that because Katie was drunk and got behind the wheel means that she is a "drunk" or an alcoholic. Do you know anything about this young woman? Do you know that she is/was a "drunk" or an alcoholic?
Are you saying that anyone, including you or your family or friends, never have gotten behind the wheel after drinking, and if so, does that classify them as a "drunk"?

A close friends 2 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver so I was by no means "trivializing" drunk driving.

And Laurel was the drunk friend who got into the car with a friend she knew was drunk, which resulted in her death.

Katie is going to spend years in prison because of her "horrible decision and huge mistake", I am not saying that she should walk away without punishment for breaking the law, she did break the law and there was a horrible outcome (with others sharing the responsibility)and she should be punished, just within reason.

This was not intentional, neither her or Laurel got into that car intending for someone to be killed, do you think that either of them would have if they knew the outcome?

I think you are the ignorant one.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 8, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Hey matt...are you depressed or what? I never go hunting so I have no need for a target; and, I certainly wouldn't go hunting with Vice President Cheney! Tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

The US with all its imperfections is still a great great country. I appreciate living here and have certainly taken advantage of all of the educational opportunities. I strongly advise that matt & compassion to do some online research re: chemical dependency/abuse. You can also contact the PPD, AA, NA, MA and other groups that provide free educational information. It is worth the time and a good read!

Do your best matt to take it easy. You and compassion come across as depressed. TIP: exercise about 20 min. daily; eat well, stay away from sugar as it can exacerbate mood swings; get adequate sleep; cut down on carbs and junk food; if you think that you need medications to help manage your mood, seek a consultation with your physician. Other than that, don't drink and drunk and drive under the influence. Keep our streets safe! Your friend, Cholo

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 8, 2008 at 3:10 pm

KEEP IT SIMPLE compassion. Read more about chemical dependency. There's alot of information available online to help you understand what being a drunk is all about.

Your comments are mostly wishful thinking. And this business about "was" is crazy making. Katie IS a drunk and she will soon be a jail bird!

Katie is better off without you & matt in her corner. It's best for her to "admit" that she's a drunk. I'm not the least bit taken in by your attempts to make her illness invisible or to minimize what happened to Laurel. You and matt clearly do not understand the role of denial in accepting the seriousness of her illness. In jail, she may have the opportunity to enter into a 12 step program. That may be her salvation. As we all know, her way has failed! It probably best for Katie to stick with the winners and not you, matt, or CG, the bad news bears! Tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

Give yourself a break and have a nice bowl of chicken soup!

Posted by compassion, a resident of another community
on Jan 9, 2008 at 6:43 am

Cholo, You obviously know nothing about Katie or the situation at hand and you have a really hard head so it is a waste of time to go back and forth with you anymore. You are always on these blogs and you want to accuse someone else of being depressed, GET A LIFE.

Posted by Wondering, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 9, 2008 at 9:49 am

I could be wrong, but wasn't there a court date set for today?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm

TIP: Read as much as you can re: Chemical Dependency. It may help you understand drunk drivers. compassion, matt, and CG, I recommend that you attend AA meetings to get a better understanding of "recovery". Miss Katie is no different from any other drunk. I suggest 90 meetings in 90 days! Don't forget, anger is a symptom of depression.

compassion: As the primaries proceed, I'm weighing in on blogs in S. Carolina and Nevada. I can HARDLY WAIT FOR FEB. 5TH, you gotta admit the democratic process is terribly exciting! VIVA AMERICA!!!

matt: I totally enjoyed your reference to Alice in Wonderland, "who are you?"....remember the caterpillar on the leaf asking that question....way cool!!!

Posted by matt, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 10, 2008 at 10:27 am

to a fool named cholo. i have a very happy life. you it seems with hatred for those you don't know, doesn't seem to happy. my question was simply who do you think you are if you need clarification, what have you been through to make you think you know it all. obviosly not too much with ignorant comments like you have made, have you ever done 90 in 90. read the big book? it seems you throw lots of accusations and judgements. have you been through this. cause i don't think i've ever seen you at the fellowship or any other local meeting. you can't judge and say anyone is anything if you've ever been through a program. in a meeting a sponsor would be the first to tell you, i can't tell you you have are a addict, only you would know. so to you my friend i'd say stop talking the talk if you've never walked the walk, and don't act like you know anything about a program and consequences you've never been through. cause i tell you how to bake a cake, but if i've never done so it probably wouldn't turn out so well. what is this the blind leading the crippled. it doesn't sound like that works so well. and believe me it seems like you and your crazy beliefs are stuck in a "wonderland"

Posted by matt, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 10, 2008 at 11:58 am

are you cheney? does that mean you can't shoot anything but your mouth on purpose. you obviously have a target in mind, that being katie, and anyone whom doesn't agree with you. don't through accusations at people you don't know, cause it can go both ways bud. i would love to see the wonderland you live in, cause in mine, people are treated fair. with out the MADD NAZI'S telling people what may or may not be

Posted by Don't enable, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm

While it may be difficult to accept Cholo's "tough love", I am afraid he is more correct than his detractors can/will admit. For simple proof of what "enabling parental behavior" can lead to simply go Tivo the show "The Real Houswives of Orange County". This reality show covers many of the same topics relavent in our priviledged area regarding teens and adolenscents with too much time and money and zero real responsibility. Tamara the self professed "hottest housewife in Orange County", has a 21 year old son who is still living at home, won't work, dosen't go to school, parties all night and sleeps all day yet somehow pays for elaborate tattoo's and $400 designer jeans and Tamara still thinks her husband is "too strict".

How does this apply? Too much compassion!!!! In general our kids live in an "entitled" world. The majority do not understand hard work, sacrifice and doing without anything? Katie has/had shown warning signs of serious behavioral issues and not 90 days after a previous incident participated by getting behind the wheel at close to 3 times the legal limit for a 21 year old and drove AGAIN!

My mother was an alcohol, and the most important rule for anyone in an alcoholic's life is "Don't sympathize", this will only lead to enabling the alcoholic to "feel sorry for themselves" and thereby enable additional indulgence in the behavior.

Feel sorry for the victim, but don't enable the offender to feel justified simply because you are simpathetic to her....

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 10, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Lighten up matt! My hunch is that you have a depressive core and need a little help. Get off the pity pot and stop trying to co Katie! As you know, your comments to me are equal to an emotional relapse! Is it time for a 4th Step? YUP!

Katie dug her own hole and all the codependents around her are keeping her in it. That means you matt and of course, compassion and CG, not to mention Pretend Latina! Katie will be found guilty in a court of law and she will have to face the consequence for her drunk driving and killing Laurel.

As for anonymity in AA, take a good look at who is blasting his business online for the world to know....tee hee hee, tee hee hee...typical out of control behavior.

Incidentally, I suspected that you had a Black Belt in AA!

Posted by matt, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 10, 2008 at 2:49 pm

no cholo i feel great, no depression here. i just don't like morons spitting info like they are reputable news source on anything. before you say any more opinons you should give some backround about where you are comming from or back off. but what have you been through in order to be so harsh and opinionated towards everyone. if you are going to blast anyone you are open for scrutiny. you know nothing. to me it seems one who spends all of his time blasting someone in another community, you aren't even a pleasanton resident. obviously has some issues with themself(you). haven't you ever heard the saying a bully only picks on people to make themselves feel better. you need to get off your highhorse, cause you have no room to talk. a know-it-all who knows nothing is nothing. i hear you attempting to blast evryone on here except you. go move to utah or some other state with similar views to you. he who throws the first stone is you. i have nothing to hide, anything i have done is out there and i'm not worried part of being a man is recognizing the mistakes made admitting them and making sure it doesn't happen again i don't know about relaying on a higher power, sorry but not all answers are found in the bible. and hey buddy sounds like you have a brown blet in something.tehehehe, that is retarded tehehehe, like your views

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 10, 2008 at 3:11 pm

cholo how are you always getting into it on here with people. sorry to interupt your guys arguement, looks like some upset people. i said
was done with this, but, you all seem very passionate about your views. i think unless you sit in the court room and are close to this person, back off, and stop getting so hot about it. matt calm down , cholo calm down, same with everyone else. i know this is a difficult time for many. but everything works out in the long run how it was supposed to. fates decide why people die and sometimes isn't fair. my mother passed at 53 yrs old of cancer, never smoked, drank, or anything. some say it is the filthy water in pleasanton. but fate took her from us, and does to many everyday. death is sad but life doesn't have to be. enjoy what you have and any fredoms you do. cause at one point when no-one is planning it can all end quickly, with no warning. appreciate eachother, and good luck.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Matt, how do you bake a cake? You offered!

CoDependency is real matt...reread the comments of pretend latina, matt, compassion and CG.

TIP: "We reluctantly come to grips with those serious character flaws that made problem drinking of us in the first place, flaws which must be dealt with to prevent a retreat into alcoholism once again."

Step 7: "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

matt, I sincerely hope that the above is helpful for you...bill

It must be eating you up matt that you can't CONTROL what's happening with Katie...she's a drunk just like her out, don't enable her by defending what she has accomplished.....your friend, Cholo

Posted by anon, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 10, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Matt and Cholo,
The forum is not for bashing each other. Please read to the terms of use.

Posted by matt, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm

again cholo who are you, and why do you think you can judge and place labels on someone with out ever meeting seeing or knowing anything. i've heard alot of televangalist quoting biblical references, they are garbage like your quotes. people like you are a huge problem with society. they believe paraphrasing others makes them wise. again buddy, wrong.i hope one days you open your eyes to the truth about people and yourself. and remember in the end there is only one judge, so why don't you let him do his job. and you focus on yours, which is leading a reasonably good life, not casting stones. until he is met. then i'm sure he'd love to hear all your opinions on the way down to the lake of fire

Posted by red, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm

cholo quoting bill form the big book of a.a. doesn't make anysense here. it's great you know it, but you should also know that like what matt said, you can not tell anyone they are a alchi, they have to figure that out for themselves. they could simply be destructive. using alchohal as a tool. not neccessarily ( sorry my spelling is bad), that they are co-dependant. but anon is right. stop bashing eachother. don't get too personal with it. insults are different than opinions.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 10, 2008 at 4:35 pm

aaron...I knew you would pop up again...hey! When drunks are ARRANGING their next "slip", they get mad about everything. For example, one drunk may get righteously ticked off because he heard that the sun rises in the east and it makes him soooooooo angryyyyyyyyy that he goes out and gets drunk, just not on his favorite drink. Another drunk may have heard that flowers bloom in the Spring and he gets so madddddddddd that he passes his favorite bar, hangs out for about 1 second and then decides what the heck, I'll just guzzle a little bitty drink....the rest is history. Catch my drift....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Drunks don't use alcohol as a "tool". They drink alcohol to get high because they know it will help them get away from their feelings. Some drink to avoid withdrawal...depends on the drunk. Other drunks get angry because they can't access other feelings...they're too shut down.

Let go and let God.....don't you mean the Goddess? Unless of course it's your job this week to define GOD for everybody?

I stand by my position: Katie is a drunk driver and she will have to face the consequences of her destructive drunk driving. Katie killed Laurel. Laurel is no longer alive. That's the bottom line....Katie will probably be a good inmate. Keep it simple...

I have to go watch the election results so I won't post for awhile.
Hang in there, Cholo

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 11, 2008 at 9:38 am

cholo, lol, yea i visited and saw all the heat going on in here, figured oh well, but no i'm not trying to define anything for anyone. just in my experience and "faith or lack of", has led me down my path. i believe what i do, it isn't that i want anyone to believe what i do, i could care less what peoples religous views are, you have to in todays society. but she probably will be a good inmate. a white girl from pleasanton, might get taken advantage of minorly, but won't cause any problems for the guards. it isn't a fun place, but i'm sure the time will be well spent, figuring out oneself with no other choice, unless you want to learn how to become a better criminal, which i doubt katie wants.
matt just because one person says things doesn't make them true, with all the bogus press out there today you should know that. don't let others tell you what you are.
cholo you stand behind your views, and you can't hate that.
compassion you got a good head, it sounds like you know katie fairly well, stick with her at this difficult time. your actions would be greatly appreciated by her and those close to her.

best of luck to all, again i have no more to say on this one, take care all

Posted by Stefanie, a resident of another community
on Jan 21, 2008 at 11:44 pm

I’ve been reading all of your comments for some time now and I have to say it has been very interesting to see everyone’s take on this. I cannot help but feel happy that SOME have the same beliefs as I do and sad that many others just don’t get it. As laurel's cousin, I am in disbelief at those who feel that Katie should have the means to rehabilitate herself. Drinking and driving is a serious offense that should be taken seriously. More and more young adults die from this yearly, and I'm sure you do not need me to sit here and go though the statistics as some of you clearly think that God gave you the gift of "Know All”. This is a girl who comes from a troubled family, who basically didn't have one, as she was living with "family friends" which is better known as, my family can’t handle me. She has a past of problems and has now killed her supposed "best friend". She has never thought about anyone but her self or the consequences that were a result of her actions. Case in point, her arrest in June. She knew not to drink and drive, she watched "Every 15 Minutes" held by Foothill. She's not an idiot. Its one thing to get in that car alone, but another to willing put at risk someone’s life who cared so much about her. True, sitting in a jail cell for years and years will not help anyone in this case, but I don’t believe that you should be free to walk the streets after you've taken the life of your best friend. As for the boys who provided the alcohol, they knew the state the girls were in when they dropped them off at Katie’s car and I feel that they are equally responsible for the death of Laurel. Whatever consequence the courts feel is just for Katie, it should be the same for them as well. A family has lost a beautiful girl who had a bright future ahead of her. Friends have lost the girl they love and care about and everyone else, who has ever met Laurel, has lost a piece of their heart that they will NEVER be able to get back. So when you sit here and you pass judgment about how you think "tough love" is unjust, just think, this could have been your daughter you lost, your friend, cousin, and lover. You will never be able to judge until it’s happened to you. Mistakes happen, accidents happen, but it’s no longer just a mistake or an accident when you take someone’s life.

Posted by friend, a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2008 at 7:45 am

Stefanie: First and most important I want to say I am so sorry for the loss you and your family has suffered.

With no disrespect, just as you said that Katie is not an idiot, neither was Laurel and I'm sure Laurel watched "Every 15 Minutes" as well and she still chose to get into the car with Katie knowing that they had both been drinking too much. Some of the blame lies with Laurel as well.

I am in no way defending what Katie did, she did something wrong and will pay the price for her actions and I think she should, I just don't agree with none of the blame being placed on Laurel and some of these people saying that Katie should spend the rest of her life in jail. What do you think Laurel would want for Katie, do you think she would want Katie to be in jail for the rest of her life or do you think that she would want her to have a chance to make something of herself.

This was a horrible decision and mistake made by both of these girls and the boy who provided the alcohol (who was her supposed "boyfriend").

Posted by AL, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jan 25, 2008 at 10:30 am

I think Katie McKewon should be grateful that she is alive, even if it means going to prison. Yes, Laurel is responsible too, but unfortunately, she was punished in the worst way. Everyone keeps talking about how these girls were teens and using that as an excuse for their reckless behavior. However, they were actually out of high school and had been exposed to alcohol for years. They knew exactly what could happen that night. The man (not boy) who gave these girls the alcohol knew what could happen, but ultimately the resposnibility lies with the girls. Just because someone gives you crack, you don't have to smoke it.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm

The court will decide Katy's fate. Hopefully, she will be sentenced to 25 yrs. with no possibility for parole. You will understand when the trial comes up, that Miss Katy has done damage to innocent others in the past while intoxicated. NO MERCY FOR DRUNK DRIVERS. SORRY MES PETITES!


Posted by D, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2008 at 4:52 pm

WOW such anger from a Livermore resident!!! I have been following this story from the first day. Katie is not going to jail for 25yrs,1-5yrs the most with good behavior. Cholo, I don't feel sorry for people who get caught drinking or driving either but I don't call them killers. Katie and Laurel are considered adults.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 10, 2008 at 10:53 am

D...Katie is a Killer Drunk Driver. There is no two ways about it.

Posted by CHOLO, a resident of Livermore
on Feb 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm



Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 19, 2008 at 5:20 pm

if a person were to drive after a felony dui, they go to prison not jail. her consequences after her sentence will be very severe. i have made the mistake and still pay it everyday. and will continue for about 7 more years. 10 total. so it's not easy. hers will be worse. dui's are alot of trouble, mandlaughter is much worse, but the funny thing is the felony dui will probably affect her record, and fredoms longer than the manslaughter. good luck

Posted by aaron, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 26, 2008 at 12:36 pm

(comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly staff)

Posted by 06 FHS Grad, a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 16, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Wow all of your guys comments on this whole issue is shocking. Some of you act like you knew Katie and Laurel, reality check you don't, but I did!! Please don't talk about people when you have no idea what they have been through. It's easy to point fingers and blame who you want but show a little compassion. I mean wow some of you rip Katie apart like you know her, and you don't!! I have known both Katie and Laurel since I was 12 years old, I am now 20. Do the math and thats a long time knowing these two girls. They were both funny, outgoing, bubbly girls. I could see why they were best friends. Over the years I lost contact with Katie but remained friends with Laurel. Laurel was always so sweet and nice, she always looked beautiful without trying. She had the personality everyone would gravitate to, she was amazing. Obviously like most teens do they both drank, but what I didn't know was that Katie had a problem. I had know idea she was an alcoholic and had been arrested for being intoxicated in public and assaulting a police officer. When all this info came out I was shocked. You think you know someone, but you really don't. I almost felt betrayed, how could she do something so stupid and selfish and not think about the consequences? What was wrong with her? The day I found out Laurel had died I wasnt even in town. My uncle had just died the week before and I was coming home from his funeral only to get the horrible news. All I remember is my friend Ashley calling and histerically crying and trying to tell me what happened. Once I realized what she was saying I was instantly in denial. I just though this was a sick joke and not even funny. But I knew in my heart Laurel was gone and the way my friend sounded was no joke. Laurel's death was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I cried for weeks after her death because I missed her so much. I didn't understand why she was taken from us and why now? My life felt like it was falling apart. I have never been so upset in my life. After some time I was able to get myself back together and figure out what happened. Once I did, I blamed Katie. She was officially charged with four years in jail for gross vehicle manslaughter and driving intoxicated underage. My feelings were mixed. I felt happy and fulfilled but also sad and depressed. None of this would bring Laurel back but Katie has to pay for what she did. Theres days when I do feel bad for her and days I feel glad shes behind bars. All I know is that I lost not only one but two friends, my life was forever changed on 10/20/07!!

Posted by Zain, a resident of California Somerset
on Sep 8, 2008 at 8:50 pm

A brave fundraiser not afraid to take action for the Tibetan cause, Mandie was arrested filming the unfurling of a Tibetan flag.Originally sentenced to 10 days imprisonment with trial she has now been released and is expected to fly back tomorow.This again made a mockery of the promises the Chinese governmemt made to hold the Olympics.

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Posted by Mousi, a resident of California Reflections
on Sep 17, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Katie McKewon must be punished severely by the governemnt. By these the public become aware of the drunken drive and they will also avoid these bad habits.


[url=Web Link Dui[/url]

Posted by linasandy, a resident of Gatewood
on Sep 19, 2008 at 2:32 am

McKewon was arrested for drink and driving case. He was arraigned for the case and in America the person who was arrested with DWI will be taken to serious actions.


Web Link