Billings News

Nov 15, 2011 9:37 PM by Brittany Wooley (KTVQ Billings)

Trial in fatal Billings drunk driving case continues

BILLINGS- The second day of the trial of a woman accused of negligently killing her boyfriend, Jeremy Funston, 28, while driving drunk kicked off Tuesday with the testimonies of several witnesses recounting the events leading up to the accident.

Friends who had been drinking that night, November 6, 2010, with the defendant, Kristen Kramer, took the stand.

They testified that Kramer got off work as a bartender at Hooligan's Sports Bar at around 1:25 a.m. on the morning of the seventh, after which she and some of her friends reportedly drank at Hooligan's for a while.

Kramer then drove some friends in her truck to the Wild West, which was open late because that day marked the end of Daylight Savings Time.

After a short time at the West, the group returned to Hooligan's for a period of time after bar was closed.

Prosecutors questioned Kramer's friends and a bartender at the Wild West about what and how much she had been drinking.

While the exact amount was unclear through their testimony, witnesses testified that she was drinking throughout the night after her shift.

One witness, Clint Reynolds, testified that Kramer did not physically appear impaired and that he was comfortable with her driving him from the Wild West to Hooligans.

However, another witness, Brian Anderson, said that at the end of the night Kramer was, in his opinion, too intoxicated to drive home, and he urged her not to.

Reynolds and another witness took a taxi home that night and offered to share it with Kramer.

Two witnesses testified that Kramer said she was going to go hunting with her father that morning at 4:30 or around 6:00.

Witnesses say Funston was with the group but at some point disappeared, and they did not know where he went. A key argument by the defense is that Kramer did not know that Funston was sleeping in the back of the truck bed when she drove home.

A St. Vincent Healthcare Emergency Room nurse testified Tuesday afternoon that Kramer showed signs of severe intoxication, saying she smelled of alcohol and had slowed and slurred speech.

A blood test was taken at the hospital that revealed Kramer had a blood alcohol level of .24, three times the legal limit.

Testimony revealed Kramer was not initially told her boyfriend was killed in the accident. Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Toman Baukema explained that the decision was because Kramer was recovering from a head injury.

The day's testimony ended with Kramer's statement recorded in the hospital.

Emotion ran high in the courtroom during the part of the statement where Kramer's father told her Funston was in the truck and didn't survive.

The trial will resume Wednesday morning.


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