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First degree manslaughter filed in Talihina fatality

March 27, 2012

A Talihina woman has been formally charged with first degree manslaughter charges following the results of an analysis of her blood after a fatal collision in September.
Jacqueline Renee Harjo, 44, of Talihina, is facing two charges stemming from the accident, Manslaughter first degree and driving under the influence causing great bodily injury.
According to the affidavit in the case, Harjo was driving a 1994 Ford pickup south bound on U.S. Highway 271 near Cox Lane when she crossed the center lane and struck a north bound Lincoln Town Car driven by Galen Benton.
According to Trooper Josh Davies, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, when he arrived at the scene of the accident he observed the truck driven by Harjo on it's top in the middle of the roadway. The Lincoln driven by Galen Benton had come to rest in the south bound lane and the west side shoulder. Arlene Benton, passenger in the Lincoln, was trapped inside the vehicle and was being extricated by the Talihina Fire Department.
According to Davies, he informed Harjo he was going to take blood for prosecution purposes only but EMS notified him they were having her and Galen Benton flown from the scene by helicopter due to their multiple injuries. Arlene Benton was transported to Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith where she succumbed to her injuries sustained in the automobile accident.
The affidavit shows Davies contacted a Trooper Queton Payne from Troop B, Tulsa, after learning Harjo was being flown to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa and requested his assistance in obtaining Harjo's blood for analysis. Once the blood was obtained it was sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for alcohol and drug testing.
The results of the analysis state methamphetamines, midazolam and lidocaine were found in Harjo's system and she was subsequently charged in the death of Arlene Benton and the injury of Galen Benton.
According to information in the case, Galen Benton suffered a broken hip, a broken leg and a concussion during the accident.
Harjo is currently incarcerated in the LeFlore County Detention Center and being held on a $50,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday after a request for a bond reduction. If convicted of the crime of first degree manslaughter, Harjo can face no less than four years in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The crime of DUI causing great bodily injury carries a punishment of up to five years imprisonment.

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