Woman faces multiple charges after collisions


SUBLETTE COUNTY – A Pinedale woman on supervised probation is again in jail after a series of incidents that started late Tuesday night, Dec.7, after she ran out of gas and continued the next morning with her arrest on new felony charges.

On Dec. 7 at 11:50 p.m., Mariah Edwards, 28, (known as Mariah Culwell) called the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, saying she ran out of gas somewhere while driving to Pinedale with her two children. Deputies brought her gas and followed her to Daniel for more fuel.

Because she is on supervised probation, a deputy asked her to stop at the sheriff’s office and submit a urinalysis, according to Sgt. Travis Bingham.

At 2:31 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, Culwell went to the sheriff’s office for the UA, which was not immediately evaluated.

“That has to be sent off to labs for confirmation on any results,” Bingham said in an email.

So Culwell drove away.

About an hour later at 3:30 a.m., a man called dispatch and said someone crashed into his truck in the Pinedale Best Western parking lot.

Deputy Danielle Cooper and others responded to find Culwell slumped over the steering wheel of her red Ford, saying she couldn’t get out or answer questions. She then shifted into reverse, backed into a tree, drove out of the parking lot and east down Pine Street with Deputy Cooper behind her with lights and sirens.

Deputy Krystal Mansur and her K-9 in another patrol vehicle at the east end of Pinedale turned to block Pine Street but quickly moved as Culwell drove at her. Culwell allegedly hit the rear driver’s side, then continued on Pine Street and crashed into a boulder.

The damaged car traveled into Ridley’s parking lot where Culwell was arrested and taken to the Pinedale Medical Clinic.

At 5:20 a.m., Bingham and another deputy deployed the SCSO drone to map the scene for Wyoming Highway Patrol’s crash investigation.

At 5:30 a.m., Culwell’s blood was drawn at the clinic, she was checked out and taken to jail.

New charges

Culwell is now charged with four felonies – alleged aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated attempt to elude police, aggravated attempt to flee causing more than $10,000 damages, causing bodily harm to a peace officer and one misdemeanor, driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Judge Curt Haws set Culwell’s cash-only bond at $100,000.

On Wednesday, Dec. 22, Culwell appeared

for her videoconference preliminary hearing before Judge Haws on the new charges with Sublette County Deputy Attorney Clayton Melinkovich sitting in for county attorney Mike Crosson and Rachel Weksler as her public defender.

Melinkovich laid out basic elements of the allegations with Deputy Cooper’s testimony, who said Culwell was aware of deputies’ orders, and a GIS map of downtown Pinedale.

Weksler asked Cooper if Culwell seemed “disoriented” when she called for gas or when followed to a gas station. Cooper didn’t know how Culwell sounded when she called and the deputy who followed her to a gas station didn’t mention impaired driving.

Why the urinalysis, Weksler asked. Cooper said to her knowledge, it wasn’t due to erratic driving. Cooper said Culwell was “unsteady” for a sobriety test and didn’t know her name but remembered it later.

Cooper didn’t know what specific injuries Culwell had, including a concussion – they were “more concerned about what she might have ingested.” Culwell told Cooper later she drove away because she was “scared.”

Melinkovich pointed out Culwell “had full control” driving through the parking lot and down Pine Street, indicating awareness. Blood draw results were not available Dec. 22.

Judge Haws bound the charges over to 9th District Court,

Weksler asked if the $100,000 cash bond could be reduced to 10-percent surety, saying Culwell realized “she is in desperate need of treatment” and wanted to enroll in a residential treatment program.

“The reality is the state does not disagree Miss Culwell is in need of treatment,” Melinkovich said. “She is also literally in a place where she can get some treatment.”

Culwell could face significant prison time and was fleeing from police – “There is an incentive for her to flee. Her actions show disregard for the sheriff’s office; her actions

display immense risk to the community.” Judge Haws kept his cash bond in place for Judge Marv Tyler to address in his court, where Culwell faces four new felonies as

well as a probation revocation hearing.

Revocation

On Dec. 14, Crosson filed a petition in 9th District Court to revoke Culwell’s probation. That videoconference hearing is set for Jan. 6 at 11:30 a.m.

It lists numerous claims – that in August, Culwell admitted to drinking at a county fair, in October she submitted a urine sample positive for meth and amphetamine, in November she left the state and failed to report to her probation agent or attend meetings, in December she missed a scheduled visit and “is believed to have absconded from probation,” it says.

Being arrested and charged with five counts on Dec. 8 could be a serious breach of probation terms. Judge Tyler had warned Culwell that she could face prison time on her deferred convictions if she violated probation. The felony carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of one year in jail and $1,000 fine.

Sentenced

Earlier this year, Culwell had reached a plea agreement and pleaded guilty or no contest to the 2020 marijuana delivery felony and 2020 marijuana possession misdemeanor, a separate charge folded into the felony case.

On Aug. 5, Judge Tyler had sentenced her to three years supervised probation with a deferred conviction; for the misdemeanor she was sentenced to one year in jail, minus four days for time served, suspended for one year of unsupervised probation.

While Culwell was released on bond before changing her plea, she was twice brought before Judge Tyler on claims she had tested positive for controlled substances.

Culwell had denied using THC the first time but admitted using a Delta-8 hemp product for pain relief. The second time, she tested positive but denied using a controlled substance, records show. The second petition to revoke her release bond was dismissed at her sentencing.

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