Preliminary hearing reveals details of fatal DUI crash

Biers is charged with murder and drunk driving for the March 13 crash that killed Angelica Goins-Jones, 42, and critically injured Patrick Jones, 43.

LANCASTER – A preliminary hearing was held Thursday for Jodi Lynn Biers, the 28-year-old woman accused of driving drunk and causing the crash that killed a Lancaster woman and critically injured the woman’s husband.

Angelica Goins-Jones, 42, died instantly when her vehicle collided with Biers’ pickup truck on Tuesday, March 13 at the intersection of 10th Street West and Ave L in Lancaster. Passenger, Patrick Jones, 43, was left clinging to life with a collapsed lung, broken ribs and perforated intestines.

In showing probable cause that Biers should stand trial for murder, prosecutor Susan Choi called three witnesses to testify at Thursday’s preliminary hearing – Deputy Brian Parks, Detective Richard Dailey, and Deputy Lee Schriever.

During their testimony, the officers alleged Biers drank at a local bar with five friends for at least four hours before the collision, appeared to be trying to leave the scene immediately after the collision, registered a blood alcohol level of .24 in a blood test at the hospital, and had received specific training on the dangers of drinking and driving through her role as a fire fighter with the US Forest Service.

The impact of the collision killed Angelica Goins-Jones, instantly.

Deputy Brian Parks said he was the first officer on the collision scene. He said, when he arrived around 12:52 a.m., a witness to the accident was near the couple’s vehicle talking on a cell phone and talking to Patrick, who was inside the vehicle on the passenger side. Angelica was unresponsive, Parks said.

He said the witness at the scene told him she was driving north on 10th street, about to turn in to the Carl’s Jr., when she saw the two vehicles collide at the intersection. Biers was traveling south on 10th street west and the couple was traveling east on West Avenue L. Parks said the witness told him she saw Biers trying to back up and leave the scene.

Parks testified he heard Biers revving up her truck and saw the truck bouncing as if Biers was trying to move the vehicle.

“I believe that maybe she was trying to leave the location,” Parks said.

Defense attorney Robert E. Haberer countered that the bouncing Parks saw might have been because Biers was trying to put her truck in park.

Parks said he questioned Biers briefly at the scene, and Biers told him she was coming from Schooners (a bar on 30th street West and Avenue L) and was headed home to Littlerock.

Deputy Lee Schriever testified that he conducted the DUI investigation at the scene.

“The first thing I noticed when I was speaking to her was the strong odor of an alcohol beverage,” Schriever said.

He said Biers told him she had been drinking at Schooners from 5 to 7 p.m., during which time she had drank an eight ounce glass of rum and coke. He said Biers believed the current time to be 7 p.m., when it was actually closer to 1:15 a.m. at the time. He said Biers also did not believe that she had been involved in a collision.

Schriever said Biers failed several field sobriety tests at the scene, then agreed to a blood test at the Antelope Valley Hospital, with lab results putting her blood alcohol level at .24.

Schriever also testified that he spoke to the Schooners bartender who was on duty on the night of the collision. He said he showed the bartender a photo of Biers and the bartender said Biers was in the bar with five friends – one female and four males – on the night of the collision. The bartender said Biers and her group got to Schooners around 8 p.m. and left together around 12 a.m., but not in the same vehicle, Schriever testified.

The bartender said he served two drinks to Biers, a Guinness and a Jameson, Schriever testified.

Jodi Biers, 28, worked for the U.S. Forest Service and was the lead foreman of a "hotshot" crew from Valyermo.

A third officer, Detective Richard Dailey, testified that Biers worked for the U.S. Forest Service and was part of a “hotshot” fire crew assigned to Valyermo.

“She was a lead foreman of this hotshot firecrew,” Dailey said. He said he confirmed with Captain Mark Mercado that Biers was with the U.S. Forest Service for about five years, and was required to take specific training on drinking and driving and be certified annually on the hazards of drunk driving.

Also revealed at the preliminary hearing was Biers’ history of vehicle code violations.  Detective Dailey found a speeding citation dated Feb. 23 in Biers’ truck on the night of the collision, prosecutors said. Biers had also received at least half a dozen citations, the majority for speeding and one for failing to stop, Choi said.

Defense attorney Robert E. Haberer argued that the evidence presented was not enough to imply malice on Biers’ part. Harberer tried unsuccessfully to dismiss the murder charge citing insufficient evidence.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Christopher Estes ordered Biers to stand trial on all charges – murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and causing injury, and driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.

Family members of Angelica Goines-Jones and Patrick Jones said they were satisfied with Thursday’s preliminary hearing.

“I’m very happy that the [murder] charge was upheld and that she’s going to be severely punished,” said sister Nicole Jones.

Jones said her brother Patrick was released from Antelope Valley Hospital on April 5, but is facing a long, hard road to recovery.

“He’s going to have to go back to the emergency room because he’s having severe abdominal pains,” Nicole Jones said.

Biers is due back in court for arraignment on May 3.

See previous released stories:

Biers charged with murder, bail raised to $1 million in alleged DUI crash

Alleged DUI driver pleads not guilty, family grieves victims

Woman killed Tuesday by suspected DUI driver in Lancaster

  16 comments for “Preliminary hearing reveals details of fatal DUI crash

  1. Bizz
    July 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Anybody know what happened to this case??

  2. Legal iz ez
    April 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    The two beers were just chasers to the fifth of Tequila she had in her purse…

  3. Dave
    April 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Another DUI killing in Lancaster? Dosent surprise me at all.

  4. J. Ripper
    April 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    The logistics of the accident, as I can discern from the details published in the media (including this web site), do not add up to me. The Joneses were waiting to turn left from eastbound Ave L onto northbound 10th St W. The intersection at 10th St W and Ave L has protected left-turn arrows all the time, most certainly in that direction. How did they get hit if they were even remotely behind or near the intersection line? They should not have been sitting in the intersection waiting for oncoming traffic, with a protected turn signal.

    Next, if Biers had come directly from Schooner’s, she would have traveled west on Avenue L, the same direction the Joneses were going/facing. Instead, she had apparently traveled north to the vicinity of Avenue K, to be headed south on 10th St W. Why? Was she so drunk when she left Schooners that she was disoriented and made a right-hand turn out of Schooners’ parking lot, then had to go around on K-8 or K over to 10th? Or had she frequented some other bar — say, Coach’s — after Schooners?

    I would hope the detectives and prosecutors have already asked and tried to answer these questions, but I’m curious.

    • J. Ripper
      April 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      I quote the source of my conclusion that the Joneses were somehow waiting to make their turn, Sheriff spokesman Michael Rust:

      “The victim was headed eastbound on Avenue L and she was going to make a left turn onto 10th street west,” Rust said. “As she is waiting to make her left turn, a drunk driver in a large pickup truck was headed southbound on 10th street west and ran into her and killed her instantly.”

    • J. Ripper
      April 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Correction to my statement of the direction Biers should have been traveling from Schooners: I mean to say “would have traveled *EAST* on Avenue L, the same direction the Joneses were going/facing.”

      • T
        April 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

        Jodi had to have more drinks somewhere else after Schooners if she left at 12 and the accident happend at 12:54.

    • JB
      April 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      I was curious about them waiting in the intersection too. I wondered if maybe there is a green light there as well a as green turn arrow. And maybe they were turning on the green light and waited a little bit to make sure that no one was coming traveling west.
      I keep meaning to check when I am in the area, but I always forget. Do you know if there is a green light as well as a green turn arrow at the intersection for people driving east? If so, I know we all fudge up a bit in the intersection on the green to make the left turn. Otherwise you never get to make your turn… They must have ironed those things out or they wouldn’t still be giving her murder.

    • Louie
      May 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      This is an attempt to try to make Jodi smell like roses. Firstly, these are distorted words. Biers slammed the couple as they were in the intersection. The workers at Carls Jr’s saw the whole thing. And who said she came from Scooners?? No where has that been reported, and had she came from Scooners, maybe she was so blitzed she made a scenic drive to what ever her distention was. This person will have you believe that The Holocaust never happened either. People should just learn to show respect to the dead, and face the truth. Jodi will be in jail for a long time and if not, she will more than likely loose her job, and go to court again for wrongful death

  5. Lisa
    April 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

    I think for Jodi’s blood alcohol level to at be .24, The bar would have served her more. The AV needs to start enforcing the rules/laws of having a liguor license.

    • CC
      April 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I agree with you 100%. Hopefully the whole truth will be revealed after a thorough investigation. Obviously the bartender is saving face – of course he’s going to lie – God forbid if he had anything to do with Jodi’s alcohol level. What type of so-called friends would let friends drive drunk? FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS DRIVE DRUNK!!! Where are her friends now? Have they shown any support? Who were her drinking buddies that night? How many drinks did they all have? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it takes a lot more than two drinks in several hours to reach an alcohol level of .24. Jodi’s totally at fault with HELP from her so-called friends that didn’t STOP her — from the bartender who continually SERVED those “two” drinks despite her level of intoxication. All this led to taking a precious life away from Angie’s family & friends. Close all the irresponsible establishment – ENFORCE THE LAWS!

      • Jason
        April 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

        And what if the bartender did only serve her two drinks? Theres a thing called waitresses nowadays that dont require you to go to the bar to get drinks. And before you decide to flame me Im just pointing out the logic that the bartender may in fact be telling the truth and that a waitress may have been serving her.

        • PT
          April 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm

          If you’re the bartender who served this girl that night – YES I blame you. Two drinks . . . really?

  6. April 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Dismissal,seriously …

  7. April 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Ahhh,picture of Jodi..

Comments are closed.