Former topless dancer pleads guilty in DUI crash
March 8, 2006
MINDEN – A 20-year-old former topless dancer who told investigators she drank vodka to relax before work pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence in an accident that seriously injured a former sheriff’s deputy.
Kia Hanna, jailed on $25,000 bail, admitted causing the Nov. 25 accident at Cave Rock and Highway 50 that resulted in major injuries to William Reynolds, 53, of Quincy, Calif.
“I drove drunk,” Hanna told District Judge Dave Gamble. “That gentleman that I hit got hurt really bad. I blacked out. I was supposed to turn and I went straight.”
Reynolds suffered a brain hemorrhage, fractured leg and pelvis, arm injury and lung complications.
He was taken by Care Flight to Washoe Medical Center and has been released. He is recovering at home.
Hanna suffered cuts to her foot, chin and the back of her head.
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According to court documents, she told investigators she had smoked two bowls of marijuana the morning of the accident and consumed a drink with two shots of vodka before leaving for work at a Carson City adult cabaret.
She said the vodka helped her relax prior to dancing.
Witnesses said Hanna was driving more than 65 miles per hour in light snow showers when she lost control of her 2004 Kia Sorrento. She overcorrected and collided with Reynolds’ 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.
The accident occurred at 4:45 p.m. Since Reynolds was a longtime Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy prior to his retirement, Gamble offered to recuse himself. Lawyer Tod Young, appointed to replace another attorney who knew Reynolds, said his client did not object to Gamble hearing the case.
Hanna faces up to 20 years in prison and a $5,000 fine at her sentencing April 18.
Young said his client, who cried through most of Tuesday’s hearing, was remorseful.
“It’s my impression those tears are for Mr. Reynolds,” Young said. “She wanted the guilty plea. She’s written several letters that I have in relation to how she feels.”
Gamble denied a request to release Hanna after prosecutor Mark Jackson said she had been on house arrest after the accident and tested positive for alcohol and marijuana, admitting she partied over Super Bowl weekend.
She has been in jail since Feb. 7. Gamble said he would reconsider the request once he had a better idea of Hanna’s housing. She identified a young man in court Tuesday as her boyfriend, but said her family lived in Texas.
“This is a girl who left her entire roots behind and has shown up at a place that is not very healthy for young people to land by themselves,” Gamble said.