Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hulsey turns over her license

BY ERIC LINDBERG
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER

Heather Hulsey turned over her driver’s license over to Santa Barbara Superior Court officials yesterday, a sign that she plans to comply with requirements that will reduce her bail from $250,000 to $50,000.
A representative from the Public Defender’s office who handed in the license also told Judge Frank Ochoa that a bed will be available for Hulsey today at Casa Serena, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for women. Hulsey plans to post bail and move into the facility, the representative said.

Ochoa agreed to lower the bail at a hearing on July 17 on the condition that Hulsey moved into Casa Serena and surrendered her driver’s license. District Attorney Hilary Dozer said he still believes Hulsey is a threat to the public.
“We continue to believe that Ms. Hulsey represents a danger to the community,” Dozer said. “We believe bail was raised on the basis of facts presented to Judge Ochoa that demonstrated she was continuing to drink and behave in ways that show she was not accepting any responsibility for her actions.”
Ochoa had raised Hulsey’s bail to $250,000 in June after police arrested the former Santa Barbara City College cheerleader for public intoxication at UC Santa Barbara in May, calling her actions a “justifiable concern” for the community.
Dozer said while he won’t weigh in on the effectiveness of Casa Serena’s treatment, he doesn’t believe it should be an option for Hulsey.
“Casa Serena is something that should be considered at a time when an individual understands what they’ve done and accepts the consequences,” Dozer said. “I think it’s way too early to make those assumptions about Ms. Hulsey, especially in view of her apparent lack of any remorse and inability to come to grips with her problems with alcohol consumption.”
Public Defender Mindy Boulet, who is representing Hulsey, could not be reached for comment, and officials at the Public Defender’s office were not able to discuss the matter.
Susan Utter, program director at Casa Serena, declined to confirm that Hulsey will be moving into the facility, but described the treatment as a 90-day program with educational group meetings, one-on-one counseling and communal living. Utter said while it is not a locked facility, they do have rules for those receiving treatment.
“The women in the house are participating in the program,” Utter said. “They don’t come and go as they please.”
She said that while they do have people who are ordered by the court to enter into a rehabilitation program, they try to offer beds to those who are actively seeking help.
“We look for folks that are willing to be in treatment,” Utter said. “...We want people here who really want to be here.”
Hulsey’s original bail amount of $50,000 stemmed from charges related to the death of her neighbor, Dr. Ronald Schlensky, who was hit by Hulsey’s Toyota 4Runner in Montecito last July, authorities said. Hulsey pleaded not guilty to several counts, including felony hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Hulsey told police she hit Dr. Schlensky while retrieving her cellphone from the floor of the Toyota. Friends of Hulsey testified that they had been drinking vodka with her at Montecito Country Club prior to the incident.
A hearing for August 20 will determine whether a settlement can be reached in the case. If not, it is slated to go to trial on September 24.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

this girl will never know how many people are emotionaly bleeding and how many lives she has changed by her animal behavior. we are bleeding and now she is set free for killing a kind wonderful man who dedicated his life to mankind.
i voted for ochoa...i am not happy about his decision,
she has affected the outcome of many peoples lives and SHE COULD CARE LESS...HAVE ANOTHER DRINK HEATHER BY ALL MEANS

Jennifer Sweeny said...

It's pretty sad that people who don't even know Heather can look at her and say, "She Could Care Less." Maybe her emotional actions don't come off like some people would like, but they don't have to for the person to feel bad. I am 21 years old and I am a recovery addict. I have been clean 4 years and I know what it feels like to be at the bottom. Maybe Heather does have a drinking problem, but that is for her to decide and NO ONE ELSE. It is a tradegy for what happened, but How dare you tell someone to go have another drink! Heather and I went to School together and even though we weren't that close...no one has room to say anything bad until they actually meet her.