Aunt of 2 toddlers killed in North Las Vegas suspected DUI crash appears in court

Aunt of 2 toddlers killed in North Las Vegas suspected DUI crash appears in court

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The aunt of two girls killed in a suspected DUI crash last week was wheeled into the Las Vegas Justice Court Tuesday morning as legal proceedings begin. The children’s mother remains hospitalized due to the extent of her injuries.

The toddlers, Rose Wilmer, 2, and Taylor Wilmer, 3, were passengers in the mini-van with their mother, Raenysa Washington, 23. The vehicle was driven by 25-year-old Kaleah Manning, who was driving with a blood alcohol level nearly two and a half times the legal limit in Nevada, a declaration of arrest stated.

Both women, who are also sisters, are facing charges in the crash.

Over the weekend, a judge set Manning’s bail at $100,000 and Washington’s at $25,000. Dan Winder, who is representing both women, said he will ask the courts to “reconsider” these amounts since he just received the case Monday night.

Winder told 8 News Now that there is a “very good chance” they will be posted.

“We’re going to ask that they be released,” Winder said to reporters outside the courtroom Tuesday morning. “Neither one of them have any real prior record, they’ve lived here all their lives, they have family support and they have to bury their loved ones.”

He added that Manning was in a wheelchair due to a broken ankle where screws were recently surgically inserted. This is in addition to a removed spleen and stitches on her face.

Washington remains in the hospital with two broken legs and internal bleeding while awaiting plastic surgery, Winder said. She is facing two counts of child abuse/neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm or death.

According to the declaration of arrest, Washington told police that she saw her sister split an entire bottle of tequila with a friend before getting behind the wheel and ultimately crashing on North Scott Robinson Drive near Lone Mountain Road.

Rose died at the scene of the crash and Taylor died at the hospital.

Winder said they will retain a private investigator to “reconstruct the accident.” When asked how he would advocate for his new clients, Winder said, “we need to withhold judgment until all the evidence is in, until the investigation is complete.”

Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Kochevar virtually joined the court meeting and said the DA’s office is considering elevating these cases to the grand jury.

North Las Vegas police said speeding and impairment caused Washington to lose control of the mini-van before sideswiping trees, hitting a light pole and a wall, and then crashing into a palm tree head-on. Neither child was in proper restraints as required by law. Both were buckled in adult seat belts in the third row of the car.

Manning is facing the following charges:

  • Three counts of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm or death
  • Two counts of child neglect/endangerment resulting in death
  • Two counts of operating a vehicle without child safety restraints
  • Operating a vehicle with a suspended registration
  • No proof of insurance
  • Failure to maintain a travel lane

Both women are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 4, 2023.

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