Suspect in trooper’s death had previous DUI case


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The woman accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a Michigan State Police trooper has at least one previous conviction of driving while under the influence.

Thomasina Jones, 28, was charged Monday with second degree murder in connection with the July 10 crash that ultimately claimed the life of Michigan State Police Trooper Caleb Starr, 33. He died Friday evening. Investigators said Jones’ blood alcohol content the night of the crash registered at .23, nearly three times the legal limit for driving.

Jones was ordered jailed without bond as the court proceedings continue.

Police said Jones is from Utah. She was arrested at an Ionia County home Monday morning. It wasn’t her first alcohol-related arrest.

Records from Minot, North Dakota show that Jones was arrested in February of 2018 and charged with driving while under the influence. She pleaded guilty to the charge and spent two days in jail. She was ordered to complete chemical dependency evaluations and pay a $525 fine, records show.

The suspect’s sister spoke briefly when reached by News 8 Monday evening.

“My sister is a loving and caring person and what she did was not even in her intentions,” Mariah Jones said over the phone. “She wasn’t in the right state of mind. And I’m sure nobody in that type of situation would be.” 

She declined to comment further.

Jones’ family has set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise money to “help to cover medical and travel expenses,” the page said.

“My sister isn’t perfect we all have and will make mistakes,” a statement on the GoFundMe page reads. “To me it’s all about forgiving and moving forward.”

The statement on the page indicated that Jones had moved to Michigan “for a great job opportunity to be able to provide for herself and family.”

As of Monday evening the page had raised nearly $1,000.

Funeral arrangements for Trooper Starr had not been announced as of Monday evening. A GoFundMe page to support his family had raised more than $70,000.

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