Two DUI suspects enter not guilty pleas in court

Two Juneau women who were both arrested for suspicion of drunk driving in two unrelated incidents on Saturday were arraigned over the weekend before a magistrate judge and appeared in court Tuesday for further proceedings.


Both Melissa A. Derr, 30, and Lorine Michelle Day, 41, entered a not guilty plea before Judge Thomas Nave on Tuesday.

Nave continued bail at $5,000 for Derr, a full-time mom and substitute teacher. Derr faces one felony charge of third-degree assault and one misdemeanor DUI charge after she was involved in a car crash on Douglas Highway just past 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Third-degree assault is a class ‘C’ felony that can carry up to five years in prison, and driving under the influence is a class ‘A’ misdemeanor that can carry up to one year in prison.

Prosecutors allege Derr drove a full-size truck across the center line on the road and collided with a second vehicle driven by a 65-year-old woman. The woman was placed onto a flat board with her neck in a brace and taken to the hospital for an evaluation, according to an affidavit filed on Sunday by Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp.

“While at the hospital, she had multiple x-rays and a CAT scan because of the concern for injury to her neck,” the affidavit states. “On a scale of one to ten, ten being the most pain she has ever felt, (the woman) described the pain as a four or five. She indicated her neck was very sore, but that she was cleared to go home.”

At the scene of the accident, Derr agreed to a field sobriety test, but was unable to complete the test because she was unable to stand up without assistance, the affidavit states. Police also found empty cans of beer and liquor in her vehicle.

Nave appointed the public defender agency to represent her and scheduled further proceedings for Feb. 24.

Court records show Day faces one misdemeanor DUI charge and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. She was arrested just before 4 p.m. Saturday in the 3000 block of Douglas Highway for driving under the influence with an 11-year-old child in the vehicle, according to the police report. Day told the judge she works for the state of Alaska Department of Administration.

The judge did not specify what her blood alcohol level was, just that it was more than the legal limit.

Nave released Day on her own recognizance and scheduled a representation hearing for March 1, a pretrial hearing for April 9 and a jury trial for April 17.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 at


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback






Mon, 06/18/2018 - 06:03

Gold Rush Days returns