Murder charge from fatal Wise Co. crash bound over to grand jury


A murder charge related to a December auto crash that killed a Missouri woman in Wise County, Virginia has been bound over to a grand jury.

A General District Court judge made that ruling Friday during a preliminary hearing for Samantha R. Dennis, 36, of Coeburn, who police said was intoxicated and driving at over 100 miles per hour when she crashed into a vehicle driven by Rebecca Starling of Saint Charles, Missouri.

Officers said Dennis was trying to avoid a DUI checkpoint on Dec. 23 as she sped down Route 58 in Coeburn and hit the vehicle which also had Starling's two children in the back seat. Starling was pronounced dead at the scene. Her children were treated at an area hospital.

Dennis is charged with felony murder and eluding and those charges are scheduled to go before a grand jury next month.

The judge also found Dennis guilty of driving on a revoked license and sentenced her to a year in jail and fined her $2,500. A motion to grant Dennis bond was also denied by the judge.

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