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Caldwell man charged with felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter in fatal 2017 crash
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Caldwell man charged with felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter in fatal 2017 crash

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JEROME — A Caldwell man was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges stemming from a December 2017 crash that killed a 71-year-old woman from Dietrich.

Larry Ray Halbert, 40, has been charged with felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter, a felony, after blood tests revealed a blood alcohol level of .259 as well as traces of drugs in his system. Police also found whiskey and beer in his vehicle following the crash.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Feb. 28.

On the evening of Dec. 13, 2017, Idaho State Police responded to a crash on U.S. Highway 93 near milepost 64.9 in Jerome County. ISP determined that Halbert was driving south on U.S. 93 when he crossed the center line, colliding head-on with a Nissan Maxima driven by Cheryl Ann Miller of Dietrich.

Halbert’s Ford F-150 pickup truck went into a broad slide before turning over on the passenger side in the left lane. The Nissan had substantial damage to the front driver’s side and stopped off the right shoulder of the road. Miller died from her injuries at the scene.

When an officer arrived shortly after 7 p.m., he found Halbert still trapped in his vehicle. According to court documents, the officer described smelling “the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle and observed HALBERT’s eyes to be glassy and bloodshot.” There were multiple cans of Keystone Light in and around the vehicle.

Later, the officer also found two open bottles of Fireball Whiskey and a case of Keystone Light inside the pickup. Halbert was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center.

Halbert’s girlfriend told police that he had called her to say he was going to get in a fight with “some guy.” She followed him in her vehicle but didn’t witness the crash when it happened.

ISP obtained a warrant for a blood sample and received test results over the next couple of months. Halbert’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit of .08 and toxicology results revealed his blood contained fentanyl and ketamine. Fentanyl is a narcotic used to treat severe pain, and ketamine is used as an anesthetic to induce a trance-like state.

The criminal case was filed in March 2018, and Halbert’s bond was set at $25,000. He was booked into the Jerome County Jail on Feb. 15.

Halbert has a long list of driving infractions on his record, including prior DUI and drug convictions in Canyon County dating back to at least 1997.

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