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Manslaughter in Adams Morgan case

Chamica M. Adams, 23, of Mitchellville, was charged Monday with involuntary manslaughter in the death of one of the two women that police contend Adams hit with her car while driving drunk in Adams Morgan.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District amended its charge after the death of Julia Bachleitner, 26, on Sept. 14.

Bachleitner was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She and a fellow student, who suffered severe injuries, were struck Sept. 8 by a Dodge driven by Adams, police said. Authorities said in court papers that Adams had a blood-alcohol level of nearly twice the legal limit for driving in the District.

Adams was arrested at the scene and initially charged with aggravated assault and driving while intoxicated.

According to charging documents, Adams was driving a 2007 Dodge Charger south on 18th Street NW about 8:30 p.m. when, while trying to turn onto Florida Avenue, she hit the center island and struck the two women, who were waiting to cross the street.

--Mary Pat Flaherty

By Mary Pat Flaherty  | September 20, 2010; 6:25 PM ET
Categories:  Mary Pat Flaherty, The District, Traffic Accidents, Updates  
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Comments

Blood alcohol was twice the limit in DC? I thought DC had a limit of 0. Or did they finally change that?

Posted by: Booyah5000 | September 20, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I feel kind of bad for Chamica Adams. Sounds like she's just a stupid, immature kid who made a really bad mistake.

But I feel even worse for Julia Bachleitner and her family. Julia's dead because Chamica chose to drink and drive.

As an Adams Morgan resident, I'd really be happy if there were fewer drunks in my neighborhood, especially behind the wheel. I hope all the people who like to drive here and drink and then meander back to Woodbridge or Gaithersburg or Mitchellville or wherever are paying attention when Chamica Adams gets sentenced to prison.

Posted by: 20009matt | September 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Chamica "IS" that a "girl's" name?

My "spell check" prompted "chemical" as an alternative... not too far from the truth due to the "chemical alteration" of the blood stream & mental state of the person...

However - we ALL know VOLUNTARY DRUNKENESS is NOT a defense~

The writer NEVER says... does it NOT say in the POLICE REPORT?

REALLY…another DUI... 2x's the legal limit... where was this "person" drinking at...must have a LONG HISTORY of drinking problems to still be "functional" at that level... so venture to say this isn't the first meeting with the law... WHERE IS THE GENDER...? NO MENTION OF RACE... HMMMMM dare we even ask if they are a "legal" citizen?

Posted by: NATURLUS | September 21, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Most people are probably still "functional" at ~.16.

But congratulations on managing to turn a story about a young woman's death into yet another bigoted tirade.

It KINDA makes you LOOK like an UNEDUCATED moron (See I can randomly capitalize things too).

Posted by: BaseballTrumpsPolitics | September 21, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Naturlus... A mind really is a terrible thing to waste.

Please take your wasted mind and go watch some more daytime tv, which is pretty much all your "mind" is good for. Save the comments for grownups who can offer something worth discussing.

Posted by: Orsalia | September 21, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

She's very lucky to have only been charged with involuntary manslaughter, especially given her blood alcohol level. The guy who, while driving drunk, killed LA Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart is now on trial for murder. I honestly think voluntary manslaughter should be the minimal charge, because when you are that drunk and put yourself behind the wheel, you have shown a level of irresponsibility that warrants a more serious charge.

Posted by: jhpurdy | September 21, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Naturlus: After reading your ridiculous and pointless summation I would have to suggest to you that it's alright to have unspoken thoughts, or in this case unwritten ones. Yours was unnecessary and practically incoherent. I have to wonder what your blood alcohol level is to write something so sloppy and clueless.

Posted by: curtb | September 21, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

For the record the girl (definitely not yet a woman even though she has a kid) was a Black, 23 year old Female and from P.G. County. She is unemployed and lives with her Mother or Grandmother according to previous reports.

She was drinking for at least two hours in Adams Morgan Nightclub "DISTRICT" before she got behind the wheel and KILLED one person and seriously injured another.

I hope she get the maximum sentence possible on all counts and is made an example so that this may prevent future similar tragedies.

Posted by: DCRat | September 21, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

As an Adams Morgan resident, I am glad people come here to drink and I really don't mind the small number of people who get drunk either. One of the reasons I moved here was to be close to an abundance of night life choices which naturally includes an abundance of places to drink.

What I don't care for is the people who decided to drink and drive. Adams Morgan is a short walk from two metro stations and an even shorter bus ride from four Metro stations. There is NO reason to drive here if you intend to drink. OK, if you live all the way in boonie town, VA or MD, then just drive to a Metro station at the end of the line and leave that lethal weapon you use for transportation there. When you finish drinking, take the metro or a taxi back out of the city to your car. There's a good chance that by the time you get back to your car, you'll be sober. At least you won't be subjecting DC to your reckless behavior.

Posted by: PersonL | September 21, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

NATURLUS, reckless behavior occurs at every demographic. Our focus should not be on the driver's ethnicity but the prevention of accidents like this one.

I am a patron of the area and have failed to understand why the city would place a crosswalk at such a dangerous intersection. The driver will always be at fault for their inexcusable actions but the city should be held accountable for the traffic pattern that facilitated this death.

Furthermore, the city needs a greater presence in the area to prevent those who drink from driving. The department needs to be proactive, rather than retroactive.

Posted by: mrwashington | September 21, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Its very sad the this is involuntary manslaughter in DC, unless the charges are upgraded at some point (doubtful IMHO) this woman will do no prison time. Had this happened a few miles away in MD or VA and I believe this would have been a charge of vehicular homicide, with much longer penalties.

So, the question is whether this woman will kill again, and when? And we wonder why so much of DC is a cesspool of violence.

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | September 21, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Can somebody confirm that it was a Dodge Charger Ms. Adams drove? It looked more like a Dodge Caliber. Small detail, sure, but investigative sloppiness has no place in a case like this and reflects poorly on either the DCPD, local U.S. Attorney's Office, or both.

What a terrible and completely avoidable incident. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bachleitner family.

Posted by: wewp | September 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The car Adams was driving was a Caliber. Seems that people get ALL Dodge cars mixed up with the Dodge Charger.

Think before you Drink

Posted by: Soulbrother | September 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The car Adams was driving was a Caliber. Seems that people get ALL Dodge cars mixed up with the Dodge Charger.

Think before you Drink

Posted by: Soulbrother | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

i wonder how many of you outspoken citizens have been guilty of texting while driving...

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone..."

Posted by: Oralia1 | September 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Oralia1. This is a sad story, but as you inferred, it could happen to anyone.

I don't drink, but i was 2 inches and God's grace away from killing a 2 year old who ran in the street because my super cool self was more interested in blasting my music and driving faster than I should through a residential neighborhood.
I saw a glimpse of the tail end of a ball roll into the street which prompted me to look up to see a terrified mother with hands over her eyes, which caused me to slam the breaks less than a foot in front of her beautiful son who popped out from the shadow of the cars parked along side of the road.

If I had even blinked at that very moment of that ball's crossing, my life would be drastically different.

Have some compassion on her, pray for the girl who is struggling to live, and show some respect for the family of the girl who died.

Lord, teach us to number our days and to love each other!

Posted by: crossingubadly | September 21, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I meet once a month with a grief counseling group whose members includes parents who have lost children due to a drunk driver. The damage done to the familes of those lost is unbelievable. Drunk drivers have a choice. They choose to drink and drive. Regardless of age, drunk drivers must be charged and punished. This young woman's life is forever changed, and another young woman's life has ended. Miss Adams will get to do her time in jail, reunite with her daughter, and put Sept. 14, 2010 behind her. Ms. Bachleitner will forever be 26 and Sept. 14th each year will haunt her family for the rest of their lives!

Posted by: Ross65 | September 21, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

No crossingubadly, this could not happen to anyone---only to someone who drinks (a whole heck of a lot) and drives!

And yes, this is the same recklessness that almost had you kill a child.

Compassion I can have but forgiveness isn't ours to give. Both your recklessness and hers were voluntary and yes, in a split second life altering for you. But for the victim they are life ending.

This knowledge should be sobering for all.

Posted by: mil1 | September 22, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

mil1,
Yes, she was reckless and I'm not excusing her actions. I was merely responding to some of the mean spirited comments that were written. I also was reckless, to a lesser degree, but nonetheless reckless.
And that was my point, that we've all done things that have put others in danger at some point while driving, whether it be talking on the phone, getting directions, texting etc..and a bit of compassion to all parties involved is indeed the more appropriate response.

I don't really understand the forgiveness comment. I didn't really mention that, but justice should be administered appropriately.

Side note just to keep this discussion going: getting drunk is simply not a smart thing to do in general. Driving or not. I've never understood why i would voluntarily want to temporarily lose control of my body and tongue, risk damage to my kidneys, and feel like crap the next day. What is the purpose? Why is drinking so widely thought of as a prerequisite for enjoyment? It is so incredibly overrated.

Posted by: crossingubadly | September 22, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

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