Driver accused of killing CHP officer faces judge in preliminary hearing

A 23-year-old woman charged with killing a CHP officer with her car in June has a driving history riddled with traffic collisions and citations, according to testimony and evidence presented Thursday in a San Luis Obispo courtroom.

Superior Court Judge John Trice will decide if a murder charge should stick in the case against Kaylee Ann Weisenberg of Paso Robles, who is accused of causing the car crash that killed CHP Officer Brett Oswald.

Trice is expected today to rule on whether the prosecution has enough evidence to go to trial on its four allegations against Weisenberg.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham said his office is charging Weisenberg with second-degree murder and driving under the influence along with two other charges.

The fatal crash occurred in June when Weisenberg’s vehicle struck Oswald’s patrol car on South River Road near Spanish Camp Road in Paso Robles, according to the CHP’s account. She was 22 at the time.

The preliminary hearing began Wednesday. The defense may or may not present its side, Weisenberg’s attorney, Tom McCormick, said Thursday, as he weighed the benefits of presenting his witnesses before trial.

In September, authorities said blood and urine tests revealed that Weisenberg was driving with a “high level of methamphetamine” in her blood.

Cunningham rested his case Thursday afternoon after questioning a forensic toxicologist about the effects methamphetamine has on the ability to drive.

It was also disclosed at the hearing that Weisenberg was about five months pregnant at the time of the collision and has since had the baby.

Evidence showed Weisenberg has had five prior traffic collisions in the same 2004 Toyota Corolla involved in the crash. She was at fault in all of them, according to the District Attorney’s office. She’s also had seven additional traffic citation convictions — four of them for excessive speed. Her license has been suspended four times; the last time was the day before the fatal incident.

Weisenberg was driving 80 mph as she approached the scene where Oswald was stopped and hit Oswald at 67 mph after braking, Cunningham said. The speed limit on that section of South River Road is 55 mph.

Aside from second-degree murder and driving under the influence, she is being charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causing injury, and driving with a suspended license.

If the charges stand and she is convicted, Weisenberg could face 15 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder charge and up to 13 additional years for the lesser charges.

Weisenberg remains in County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail, McCormick said.

Bail increased from $200,000 in September when the District Attorney added the second-degree murder charge.