$50K bond set for woman accused of driving drunk in crash that killed pedestrian in Montrose

Charly Edsitty Image
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
$50K bond set for woman accused of hitting and killing man in Montrose
"Frankly, that argument is insulting." The alleged drunk driver's defense team is calling it a "tragic accident" and says the winding section of Westheimer contributed to the crash.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The driver charged in a crash that killed a man who was walking along Westheimer Road while on a first date made her first court appearance on Wednesday.

A judge set 32-year-old Kristina Chambers' bond at $50,000 for an intoxication manslaughter charge.

If she posts bond, the judge said Chambers will need to obey a curfew and not use drugs or alcohol. She also will not be allowed to drive and must wear a SCRAM device, which monitors the body's sweat for alcohol.

PREVIOUS REPORT: New mugshot shows woman accused of driving drunk in crash that killed pedestrian in Montrose

The 32-year-old appears to be wearing a hospital gown and a sling in her mugshot. She was hospitalized following the crash until she was booked into jail on Monday.

Video from the courtroom shows Chambers in a wheelchair with a sling over her left arm and her right foot in a cast. The judge brought her out to sign paperwork after the hearing.

Chambers had to be hospitalized for injuries she sustained in the crash. She was booked into jail on Monday.

Meanwhile, the family of the victim, 33-year-old Joseph McMullin, sat quietly in the courtroom. They touched hands as they listened to the attorneys during the hearing.

The family avoided cameras and did not wish to speak to the media.

The defense team is calling the incident a "tragic accident" and says the winding section of Westheimer Road contributed to the crash.

Chambers' attorney also called into question the blood alcohol test provided in the hospital, saying it may be faulty.

"She's heartbroken. I mean, this is a tragic loss on everyone's side. This is a nightmare for everyone involved," Chambers' attorney, Mark Thiessan, said. "She's got a broken right leg and a broken clavicle, and she is in a wheelchair."

The prosecutor says those claims are not true, and the McMullin family deserves justice.

"Those are kinds of arguments we hear lots of times in vehicular-related crashes, that this is a civil case. Frankly, that argument is insulting. It is for the family, to sit in a room and hear that this is a civil case, that this is about money. This is not about money," Kelly Marshall, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, said. "This is about reportedly a crime being committed, that his defendant was driving while intoxicated and killed their loved one."

According to court records, Chambers' blood alcohol content level was four times the legal limit. Prosecutors said Chambers was leaving a bar at the time of the crash.

READ MORE: Woman accused of killing pedestrian in Montrose had BAC 4 times legal limit: Court records

Kristina Chambers is charged with intoxication manslaughter after officials say she killed Joseph McMullin and had a BAC four times the legal limit.

The DA's office will investigate if she was overserved at the bar.

Marshall said investigators at the scene found Adderall and another substance, possibly cocaine, in Chambers' purse after the crash. Lab results are pending to determine exactly what the substance was.

Chambers could still face more charges, according to Marshall. The DA's office is looking into the injuries the passengers inside the Porsche sustained.

What happened the day of the crash

The crash happened on Wednesday, April 19, at about 2:30 a.m. at 1200 Westheimer Road in front of a Voodoo Doughnut shop in Montrose.

Police said Chambers may have been driving around 100 miles an hour in a blue Porsche 911 Carrera before the crash.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Woman behind wheel of speeding car that killed pedestrian outside Montrose donut shop faces charge

The woman on the date said they weren't supposed to go out until Friday, but the man knew she liked to sing so he took her to a karaoke event on Tuesday.

Video officers saw of the crash apparently showed the woman behind the wheel of the Porsche going so fast she couldn't navigate the curve on Westheimer, which led her to hit the curb and then McMullin, who was with his date.

"We had gone to karaoke at AvantGarden. When we got out, the taco truck was closed, but he knew Voodoo would be open," Briana Iturrino, the woman on the date, said. "He asked if I wanted to take my car. I said, 'Well, it's not that far. We can walk. Fresh air.'"

The couple had just left the doughnut shop and were on the sidewalk when Iturrino said she saw the Porsche coming at them very fast. She told police she saw a flash and then tried to find McMullin.

"I felt something graze my hip. I don't know whether it was the car grazing my hip, or Joe's foot as he flew by. Immediately, I was like, 'Where's Joe?'" Iturrino recalled.

Iturrino said she got on the phone with 911, and the dispatcher asked her to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.

McMullin died at the scene.

Police said the car slammed into the man then continued for a short distance before running into a utility pole in a nearby parking lot.

There were three people in the Porsche, including Chambers. Another woman was in the front passenger seat, and a man in the backseat.

The two women were stable, and the man was unconscious when first responders took him from the scene.

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SEE ALSO: Family identifies man hit and killed by alleged intoxicated driver following 1st date in Montrose

Police said the alleged drunk driver may have been going about 100 miles an hour when she fatally struck the man, who had just gone on a first date at the donut shop.