A Tomball woman was convicted of Intoxication Manslaughter by a Montgomery County jury, in a rare case involving legal prescription drugs.
Sherri Lorene Holloway, 31, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison following her conviction. The case stemmed from a crash on SH 105 in February of 2011, where Holloway crossed the center line, hitting a white Chevrolet van, killing its driver, Kenneth Buffington. Prosecutors said he was killed almost instantly, due to the force of the crash.
Holloway was seriously injured in the crash and sent by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Witnesses said Holloway’s vehicle was weaving erratically before the crash, even causing a tractor-trailer to have to leave the roadway to avoid her, so State Trooper Eric Lopez obtained a blood sample from Holloway at the hospital. He was also given a baggie with numerous pills that hospital staff found on her.
Lab results showed that Holloway had a combination of valium, soma and hydrocodone in her system at the time the sample was taken.
After hearing testimony from forensic experts and witnesses to the crash, jurors took less than 10 minutes to convict her of the crime.
During the punishment phase prosecutors were able to enter evidence of another crash involving Holloway, which injured Tomball police officers Cpt. Rick Grassi and Sgt. Rebecca Carlisle.
Prosecutors said that in May of 2010, Holloway hit theTomball police officers in a police vehicle on FM 2978, while they were on their way to a police funeral in Conroe. Both officers were injured in the crash. She was allegedly under the influence of the same drugs when that crash occurred.
The 12-year sentence means that Holloway must serve at least half of that before she is eligible for parole. She will be credited with time served already in the Montgomery County Jail, meaning she will possibly have to serve less than five years in state prison.