Memphis woman charged with killing pedestrian has previous DUI convictions

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman charged with hitting and killing a man Thursday night has seven previous DUI convictions according to an affidavit.

Police say Linda Cartwright, 55, admitted to hitting a person just before 10:30 p.m. Thursday at Brooks and Coughlin.

Police say the unidentified person died at the scene.

Witnesses said the man who died was a good Samaritan. He had pulled over to help a motorcyclist involved in a different wreck.

“We are in this turning lane,” said Tiffany, one of the witnesses. “At first I thought it was debris from the motorcycle, but then I realized it was just a man standing a couple of feet beside me.”

Police said Cartwright drove off, but they found her down the road.

She told police she was coming back from “the casino in West Memphis and hadn’t been drinking that much.”

Police said she was drunk.

It gets worse, police said Cartwright had seven prior drunk driving convictions.

WREG found five DUI arrests dating back to 1986. One of them was in DeSoto County, Mississippi.

Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Johnson wouldn’t talk about Cartwright’s history or why she was behind the wheel, but did say every ten years, there’s a reset button.

Basically, it means the courts can’t consider previous DUIs from more than a decade ago.

“For example, a week ago I had an eighth offender who was a first offender all over again under the statue, because his priors don’t qualify under the statue.
said Johnson.

Johnson said now that Cartwright is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, her entire criminal history will play a factor.

As for Tiffany, she hopes that Good Samaritan gets justice.

“I hate it for his family, and my prayers go out for all of them,” she said.

WREG talked to the wife of the motorcyclist who is in the hospital. He is doing okay physically.

He told his wife is upset. One moment he is standing next to a stranger telling him everything will be okay. The next moment, the stranger isn’t there.

 

Cartwright is charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test, public intoxication, driving under the influence, reckless driving and aggravated vehicular homicide.

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