Crime: Drunk driver who killed deputy’s wife in 2008 charged with DUIs twice in last month - PressFrom - US
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CrimeDrunk driver who killed deputy’s wife in 2008 charged with DUIs twice in last month

20:15  20 june  2019
20:15  20 june  2019 Source:   twincities.com

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Drunk driver who killed deputy’s wife in 2008 charged with DUIs twice in last month© Provided by MediaNews Group d/b/a Digital First Media Elizabeth Rhodes (Anoka County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies in Ramsey County made an arrest that hit unusually close to home this week. They apprehended a woman for a suspected DUI who in 2008 hit and killed a deputy’s wife while driving under the influence.

Those who worked at the sheriff’s office with Joseph Lopez at the time hoped Elizabeth Jacobson learned a life-changing lesson when she struck the squad car he and his wife were driving in back on New Year’s Day of that year, Ramsey County undersheriff Jeff Ramacher said Wednesday evening.

But Jacobson, formerly Elizabeth Rhodes, is accused of driving while intoxicated twice in the last few weeks. She was charged with a first-degree DUI in Anoka County after someone reported she was drinking while driving her 10-year-old daughter in Lino Lakes May 29, according to court records.

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When police arrested Clarence Busch, the driver who hit Cari, they found that he had a record of arrests for intoxication, and had in fact been arrested on another hit-and-run drunk - driving charge MADD was the result. ( Charged with vehicular homicide, Busch did eventually serve 21 months in jail.)

Then on Tuesday, the Ramsey County sheriff’s office got a request about 2:30 p.m. to do a welfare check on a woman who appeared to be over the legal drinking and driving limit who just pulled in to a Freedom gas station in Shoreview, Ramacher said.

The caller said the woman had been driving erratically before pulling into the parking lot, and was now slumped over the vehicle.

While officers were en route to the scene, they got word Jacobson left the gas station. Deputies found her on the roadway and attempted to pull her over near Centerville Road and County Road J.

But Jacobson didn’t stop, Ramacher said. A deputy eventually used a pit maneuver to disable the vehicle at the bottom of the entrance ramp onto southbound interstate 35 E and approached the vehicle.

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Jacobson, who was alone in the vehicle, showed “signs of impairment” at the scene and was arrested.

She was charged Thurday afternoon with a felony-level DWI as well as one count of fleeing police, according to the criminal complaint filed against her in Ramsey County District Court.

“Of course the hope would be that after she was sentenced (for criminal vehicular homicide) that the experience would resonate with her to the point where she never gets behind the wheel intoxicated again, ever … but we had an event three weeks ago in Anoka County and now an event (in Ramsey County ),” Ramacher said. “It’s frustrating to see when those things happen.”

The arresting officers Tuesday did not make the connection between Jacobson and Lopez, Ramacher said, adding that Lopez retired a few years after his wife was killed, so many current staff at the sheriff’s office don’t know him.

Ramacher has been there more than 20 years though.

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“Her name was fresh in my memory (from the Anoka County incident) … so I put the puzzle pieces together,” he said.

Jacobson posted $25,000 bail with conditions in that case May 31 and was released from custody. The conditions include refraining from alcohol-use, remaining law abiding, and participating in an intensive supervision program, according to court records.

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Kyle Dreger was hired to represent Jacobson in that case. Dreger said he was still learning about the details of her most recent arrest and that it was too soon to comment on the allegations.

“The big thing to keep in mind is that innocent until proven guilty is very important … Just charges doesn’t mean someone is guilty of an offense, but that seems to get lost in the system lately.”

He added that he had not yet been in touch with Jacobson regarding her most recent arrest, just her family.

Jacobson’s mother, Barbara Rhodes, emphasized Thursday that while her daughter is a human who makes mistakes, they don’t define who she is.

“She is a very loving mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt. She would do just about anything for anybody, that’s just who she is,” Rhodes said. “She’s made mistakes, tragic mistakes, and she knows that.

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She added that her daughter feels deep remorse for causing the the death of Margaret Lopez.

“She cries over it. She carries the guilty of it everyday,” Rhodes said.

As far as the most recent allegations facing her daughter, Rhodes declined to comment.

Ramacher said that a deputy was attempting to reach Lopez to let him know about the new allegations.

Jacobson killed Margaret Lopez and injured Joseph Lopez husband when she crashed head-on into Lopez’s squad car while driving the wrong way on U.S. 10 near Interstate 35E in Mounds View on New Year’s Day in 2008.

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Margaret Lopez was along for a ride-along with her husband at the time.

Jacobson received a nearly five-year sentence.

“Obviously, this is a woman that has proven to us that she is a public safety threat behind the wheel and she continues to show us a pattern of behavior that is not acceptable,” Ramacher said.

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