Accused pot-smoking driver indicted, bail lowered

Elizabeth Irma Kemble, 46, died about 11 hours after she was hit by a car

Elizabeth Irma Kemble, 46, was in a marked crosswalk when she was hit by Jacob McLeod Walters' Toyota Prius, police said. (MCSO, Facebook)
Elizabeth Irma Kemble, 46, was in a marked crosswalk when she was hit by Jacob McLeod Walters' Toyota Prius, police said. (MCSO, Facebook)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A grand jury handed up an indictment on Tuesday against a man who police said was smoking pot moments before he hit and killed a woman crossing the street.

Elizabeth Irma Kemble, 46, died about 11 hours after she was hit by a car. (Facebook)
Elizabeth Irma Kemble, 46, died about 11 hours after she was hit by a car. (Facebook)

Jacob McLeod Walters is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. According to court records, the grand jury indicted him on charges that include second-degree manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide, DUII, and reckless driving.

The crash occurred Oct. 5 at the intersection of East Burnside and Northeast 181st Avenue. Gresham police said Walters was traveling eastbound on East Burnside when Elizabeth Kemble entered the crosswalk at the intersection of Northeast 181st.

According to police, Walters hit Kemble in the crosswalk. He remained on scene and admitted that he had smoked marijuana prior to the crash, according to court records. Officers on scene noted that his eyes were bloodshot and speech was slow.

“Witnesses at the scene gave conflicting stories.” — Report released by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

According to court records, “witnesses at the scene gave conflicting stories.” One said that Walters entered the intersection while the light was yellow and that Kemble had crossed against the light. Another said that Walters ran a red light.

In a motion to have Walters’ bail lowered, criminal defense attorney Stephanie Pollan said that her client was traveling from his home to a drive up coffee shop. Police tell KOIN 6 New speed was not a factor in the crash.

In Pollan’s motion, she writes that two witnesses told police that Kembel appeared to be “moving quickly” to catch a TriMet MAX.

Walters told police that “he smoked 2-3 hits of marijuana in the car a few minutes before the accident,” Pollan writes. A marijuana pipe was found in a backpack inside the vehicle, according to court documents. Walters told police that he did not think the pot effected his driving.

Walters remains out of custody. He was released from jail on Oct. 23 when a Multnomah County judge lowered his bail to $55,000 from $275,000.

In a report generated by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the agency that is supervising Walters while on release, the mother of the victim was “very upset” that Walters was being considered for release.

Aida Rose told the deputy that if Walters is released, she believes that he “will likely continue to use drugs and potentially harm someone else.”

The victim’s husband, Don Kemble, told the deputy “He (Walters) killed my wife and needs to be in jail,” the report states. According to the report, Elizabeth Kemble volunteered for the Meals on Wheels program and that her loss in the community “has touched many lives.”

According to the deputy’s report, Walters has no criminal record prior to his arrest. He has no history of traffic crashes or citations. Walters had been employed by a local grocery store for four years. He had been living at home with his parents and the reported “no signs” that he was using marijuana. Walters, his family told the deputy, is very remorseful.

Since his release, Walters has been placed on GPS monitoring and house arrest. He is only allowed to leave for reasons that include employment, school, medical treatment, and legal appointments. Walters must comply with random urine sampling and isn’t allowed to drive.

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