A drunk driver who killed a woman in a crash on an Oregon highway in 1997 and was caught 16 years later in Canada is going to prison.
Jean Keating pleaded no contest on Sept. 30 to charges of manslaughter and DUII. She was sentenced this week to six years and three months in prison, with credit for time served. She was also given a lifetime driver's license suspension.
Keating, then 38, was living in Milwaukie when she was arrested following an Aug. 13, 1997 crash on Interstate 5 near mile post 237. Police said she sideswiped another car driven by Jewel Anderson, 65, of Dexter.
Anderson's car was sent through the center median and collided with another vehicle. Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene. Keating was not hurt, and the third driver received no life-threatening injuries.
While awaiting trial in March 1998, Keating's attorney said he lost contact with her and was concerned she had, "flown the coop," according to Oregon State Police. The Linn County Circuit Court issued a bench warrant for her arrest.
Detectives received tips over the years, but none led to the suspect. Troopers said Keating's family never reported her missing.
In early 2013, Oregon State Police received information that a police officer in Manitoba, Canada had found Keating. That officer followed up on a tip about a woman telling people in a bar how she had gotten away with the deadly crash.
Canadian investigators identified the woman based on a past DUII arrest in Canada. Her fingerprints were scanned, and matched those in the U.S. database for Keating.
On April 8, a member of the Canadian Immigration Division detained Keating, and took her into custody pending a deportation hearing.
On June 13, local troopers were notified she was in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in North Dakota, where she was held until her return to Oregon.
After confirmation she was back in U.S. custody, OSP notified Anderson's family.
After Keating is released from prison, she faces three years post-prison supervision. She will also have to pay restitution to the victim's family, but that amount has not yet been determined.
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