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Bend woman shot by police after Hwy. 20 chase gets 30 days jail, community service

Danielle Bower in court Mike 522
Mike Allen/KTVZ
Danielle Bower appeared in a Bend court Friday for arraignment, plea and sentencing

(Update: Adding video, judge's comments, file of Hummel's full statement to court)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A Bend woman who was shot at least four times by police as she backed her minivan toward a K-9 team at the end of a lengthy chase on U.S. Highway 20 east of Bend in early March was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail, 18 months probation and 150 hours of community service.

Danielle Bower, 28, was so heavily intoxicated at the time she showed up covered in blood at the St. Charles Bend ER, then led police on a chase through town before heading east that she tested for a .277 blood-alcohol count – well above the .08 legal limit – three hours after she left the house for the hospital, officials said.

After agreeing to a plea deal to avoid further court proceedings, Bower pleaded guilty to DUII and four of the seven charges of recklessly endangering another person. Charges of reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude police and three recklessly endangering counts were dismissed.

Bower filed a petition to enter an Alford plea of guilty, meaning she does not admit guilt, only that a jury or judge likely would convict based on the evidence. It noted that she could have faced up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. She also pleaded no contest to DUII.

Proceedings in the case had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the court system, which also meant no audience and very few people in the courtroom of Deschutes County Circuit Judge Alison Emerson for Friday's arraignment, plea and sentencing, which took about 40 minutes in total.

"To be frank with you, in the 20 years that I've been a lawyer, prosecuting and defending felony elude cases, I've never heard of a felon elude as fast and bad as this one, ever. Usually they don't end like this," Emerson said.

"And from the court's perspective, you had so many chances to make a different decision that would have led to a different outcome.

"I understand that there could have been something that happened at your house, and you chose to drive to the hospital because you were injured. And I think that that would be an excusable reason to drive in an intoxication level like that.

"But then to get out of your car and then get back in, and people were trying to get you to stop, and trying to grab your keys, then the police are trying to get you to stop, you've been PITted once (the police PIT maneuver to stop a car), and you've been driven off the road a couple times -- you almost head-on collided with a couple different cars.

"And then you get stopped, and then you throw the car in reverse and try to continue on. I have some serious concerns about the choices that you made that night," the judge said.

Bower only answered the judge's questions and declined the opportunity to make a statement in court. She was ordered to report to Community Corrections by Friday evening and to report for her jail term a week later. Her sentence also includes a 90-day driver's license suspension.

Last month, District Attorney John Hummel ruled that two Bend police officers were legally justified in firing 14 shots at Bower on March 9 as she sped her minivan backward toward a third officer and his K-9 partner after she ran off snowy Highway 20, about 40 miles east of Bend.

Three officers had approached the minivan with guns drawn and yelled for her to stop when Bower threw it in reverse. No officers were injured.

Why Bower fled has been something investigators were trying to determine. Hummel said Bower apparently was assaulted, most likely by a guest, at her home and that she may have fled the scene due to a head injury, or because she didn't want to get caught for DUII.

In the Highway 20 encounter, Hummel said Bower was struck by four or five bullets, as well as shrapnel from shattered bullets and windshield and side-window glass.

Hummel said the two men at Bower's home when police arrived, her husband and a guest, also were so heavily intoxicated, investigators knew a fight had taken place. But they could not determine if Bower, whose nose was broken, had been struck on purpose or it was an errant punch or elbow that caused her to bleed heavily.

As for why he didn't seek a longer sentence for Bower, Hummel said: "Yes, the driving was egregious, but I have to consider all the facts that were involved, and the fact that Miss Bower had been assaulted prior to driving and had experienced a brain injury -- I'm confident that she would not have fled from the police if she had not been assaulted and suffered that brain injury."

"I encourage Ms. Bower to take advantage of this opportunity to get well, and to raise her children as they deserve to be raised," Hummel said.

"Long gone are the days our community viewed those who seek help for an addiction as somehow 'weak.' If Ms. Bower is committed to success in her recovery, she will be embraced by our community. If she sloughs off this incident, doesn't work on her recovery, and we see her in court again, the state will seek a much harsher sentence.

"Ms. Bower, I wish you well," he concluded.

Crime And Courts / News / Top Stories

Mike Allen

Mike Allen is a reporter, anchor and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Mike here.

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

71 Comments

      1. I think Mike got his Fridays confused from what Judge Emerson ordered, and now the court log entry has made clear she was told to report to Community Corrections by last night and report to jail next Friday evening, the 29th. The story has been updated. Thanks.

    1. Should have lost her license forever.
      Spent at least five years behind bars.

      Had this been a male the sentence would have been more logical.

      The courts are nothing but a damn joke. Pathetic.

      1. None of her stupid decisions had to do with her getting punched in the face. If she wasn’t completely wasted, she wouldn’t have done any of that stuff.

        1. So if a woman gets drunk one night at a get together and gets punched in the face by a grown man she deserves it? Because she was drunk? You’re ridiculous, brain trauma is an actual thing…. look it up. People don’t think clearly and rationally, with or without being intoxicated 🙄

          1. oh gosh, you’re a special kind of special aren’t ya? She was wasted and her lawyer used the fight thing to justify her actions. If she was sober and got punch in the face, she would have never done any of that stuff. I know it’s hard for you to understand simple truths.

  1. Laugh every time something happens like this and ignorant people think they should lock them up for years yet the same tools complain if their taxes go up 1 cent? Who do you think pays for people being incarcerated?

    1. I’ve always wondered how taxes are collected for this, as well as charging those found guilty. Once released, the criminal is ordered to pay all court costs, restitution, they pay for every meal they were served, and all probation fees. If they can’t pay, a warrant is issued. It’s almost as if the justice system gets double pay for those they release.

  2. “Emerson told Bower she had never heard of a case with as serious a set of felonies.
    You had so many chances to make different choices that night,” the judge told her.”

    And yet she only gets 30 days in jail , probation, community service and only loses her license for 3 months. It’s truly amazing what people can get away with in this county,
    and basically get a slap on the wrist…

    -I’m confused. Hummel said she had a broken nose but then says she had a brain injury.
    Which is it, or is it both ? I know that if a nose is broken a certain way it can cause a brain injury…
    He also stated that our community doesn’t look at those who seek help for addiction as weak. When exactly did she seek help ? While she was running from the cops and putting peoples lives in danger ? It certainly doesn’t sound like she asked for help at the hospital because she ran, unless it was after she had been shot and admitted…

      1. Not to mention they didn’t even try to use spike strips…. or using a tazor before thinking they were so in danger they had to shoot at her 14 times! A woman in a minivan with car seats in the back! 🤬🤬

          1. Well… they never told her to get out of her car or to put her hands up, so maybe if they followed protocols and have video and audio you might know the truth of what really happened…

            Seems odd that they just didn’t think to record or videotape a pursuit such as this one 🤔

            1. Sounds like it all happened very fast and they shouted stop when she put it into reverse, according to the DA’s full statement which is posted here. (And if it was dark, not sure how much video would have showed – they don’t always settle things.)

              1. Dude, it’s so so weird that you spend all day just commenting back and forth with these mouth breathers. How do you actually have a job doing that?

                1. My job is to write news. I took this added chore on as a public service, in a way. I think it can be a valuable way to exchange views and information. Most thank me for it.

        1. Cops have been shot and some have been killed by both men and woman,
          and the fact that she had two car seats in the back doesn’t lessen the
          potential for danger. There have been people that shot and killed cops
          during traffic stops, that actually had kids in the car with them…

      2. I’ll have to read the report Barney because I certainly don’t know all the details, and maybe after I read it, it will change my perspective.
        As far as being shot having an impact on sentencing, I don’t think it should have any
        influence if the shooting was justified, and apparently it was. If a person is shot by a cop, they are shot because they are perceived to be a threat at that particular time. They don’t usually get shot simply because of the crimes that were committed before that time…

        -The fact that Emerson said she thinks it was excusable for her to drive to the hospital because of her injury, even though she had a BAC level almost 3 times over
        the limit almost three hours later, is really hard for me to comprehend…
        So because she was injured, it was okay to put others lives in danger by driving to the hospital, even though she was drunk enough that she certainly would have at minimum had difficulties walking, let alone driving.
        She could have called 911 and had an ambulance take her to the hospital. Granted it’s hindsight, but if she had, there would have been no chase and no shooting.

        -It appears that some of the judges comments were edited for some reason, because I’m certain that they are different than they were when I read the story right after it was originally posted, but even still it seems the judge is having a very hard time grasping everything that she did up to the time of the shooting.

        1. Yes, I transcribed the video to put the whole comments in context. Hummel said it has to do with the apparent brain injury, why he didn’t seek more time. I also heard she had no previous criminal record. Lots of factors come into play in setting a sentence, especially a plea deal.

    1. Maybe read some articles…. you clearly know nothing about this case and the corruption. Where’s the evidence stating she put her car in reverse??? She was stuck in a ditch, no tires marks proved she went backwards. The first three articles stated she came to a complete stop “and got deleted from the web” Also a officer had to check himself for bullet holes because he was in direct line of fire from the other officers opening fire at her.

      1. I agree 100% with you. The report says that they were approaching her vehicle that was stuck, after all there was a lot snow and ice and she was in a minivan, not exactly the best traction vehicle, and that she threw it in to reverse and it immediately lurched backwards towards the officer who was 30 feet behind her so they fired 14 shots to stop her from injuring the other officer, who could have easily stepped out of the way. GIVE ME A BREAK!! We are supposed to believe that a van would be able to be thrown into reverse, at full throttle, and begin moving at a high rate of speed in the ice and snow not to mention the pumice sand out there. I have experienced the pumice sand in many different vehicles and had a van like that one and I for one call BS!!!!

        1. try to kill officers or K-9’ss will get you shot. The state police ran the investigation, not the DA or the Judge nor Local police, the shooting was found justified, with you not being there filming, I will go with the official investigation

          1. ya Just like all Oregon officers are supposed to be required to wear full audio and video recordings during a stop, where’s that evidence? Oh wait there wasn’t any 🤔 officers get paid time off so they can sit at a coffee shop and get their stories straight?? Cool

        2. Based on your massive forensic experience as opposed to the actual professionals who investigated the incident.

          Yes, let’s have the officers just step aside and let a drunk continue driving down the road erratically. She’s lucky she didn’t kill anyone.

          Again, a ridiculously light sentence.

          1. Well if you knew the whole story you might know that the man who assaulted her was trying to drive home drunk and she took his keys and told him it wasn’t a good idea. Wonder why she got punched in the face and had head trauma!? You don’t see that story on the news now do you??? No wonder she wasn’t thinking clearly. And driove herself to the hospital to seek medical attention. Obviously she knew drinking and driving wasn’t okay before hitting her head on a table and the head trauma. 🙄🙄

            1. There is little information in court files, presumably because a trial has been averted. DA never mentioned her hitting her head on a table, only that it was a broken nose, had you been interviewed by authorities?

              1. No I have not because I wasn’t present, but she is my sister and I believe her side and her fiancés side of the story. Maybe if they actually did a complete investigation and took pictures of her injuries it would be a different outcome. Especially justice for her abuser

                1. I don’t have any idea what really happened, but realistically you don’t either because you weren’t there. Only three people know exactly what happened… The reason I say this is because it’s really hard to believe that if everything actually happened the way you said, that there
                  was absolutely no mention of any of it…
                  I don’t like Hummel at all, and I also know that there are some cops that
                  would have no problem covering up something, but I have no idea if that’s the case here or not.
                  Realistically, what would they have to gain by hiding details that led up to your sister being at the hospital ? That’s not why she was shot.

                2. I believe the breathalyzer results and the documented results of her driving.

                  Still cannot believe she got off with such a light sentence.

            2. First of all- I think anyone who gets their nose broke in a drunken fight- then get’s shot by police four times- in one night- has probably suffered enough !

              What I don’t understand about this story is the so-called “man who assaulted her” !

              Did the police interview this guy to verify your story here ? If this is all true- why hasn’t he stepped up to defend her actions- why let her take the fall- If I’m Bower’s Lawyer- I’m gonna play hard ball until he accepts his role in this ! I can’t help but think that this is what the Judge has done- either get your friend to talk- or you take the fall !

    2. a brain injury because of the anatomy of the head, sinuses and nose = it is completely compatible that she had both. Often in injuries like this cerebrospinal fluid leaks from the nose or ears or both. can be very serious

  3. Wow there are so many haters in this county, really, why didn’t she get more time, why didn’t she have her license suspended longer. Would you be happier if she was died from her injurys? I am really shocked and honestly disgusted by the comments! Why is no one taking into consideration the fact that she was injured, confused, due to the injury and the alcohol, scared, and disorientated (so much so she thought her kids were missing) and alone did I mention scared. One would think the terror she experienced, the head injury, being shot 4 or 5 times (no one seems to really know for some reason) and the PTSD she will surely experience would be enough punishment after all she was responsibly drinking at home until she was assaulted and experienced the head injury and then all she did was drive to the hospital (which even the judge said was excusable) she was obviously injured when she was seen at the hospital with a injury to her head maybe it was a poor choice for the police to engage in a pursuit with someone even they describe as disoriented and injured. But as usual they are way to eager to take things way to far! Tell me why neither the police report or the DA’s report say she was actually PIT’ed. I think she has suffered enough for her crime of being assaulted and suffering a head injury! By the way why did the police take the time to get a rifle out of the trunk of their car, were there hand guns not enough and why were they using R.I.P. bullets which are designed to split apart into several projectiles in order to cause maximum damage to a person? Look it up. Normal bullets are made from a soft metal they are not made to shatter. Get a grip people stop being such haters that is what is wrong with society.

    1. Thank you!! Someone understands the justice system… she is very lucky to even be alive!! People are just awful…. the nurses and doctors are shocked she even made it to the hospital. Considering they took her to the hospital in the back of a patrol car!!! 🤬🤬

      1. Well, that was the fastest way back. Or would you have preferred they wait for an ambulance to get there?

        Of course if she hadn’t fled the hospital in the first place, none of this would’ve happened. I cannot believe the helium light sentence she received.

    2. No such thing as R.I.P. bullets; I think you meant hollowpoints. Yes, they are designed to open in the body, which has a side benefit of preventing overpenetration. This prevents injuries others.

      And look at her BAC, that’s hardly “drinking responsibly at home.”

      Way too light of a sentence.

      1. You think there is no such thing? Did you even check before making that statement?
        Check it out for yourself link at bottom of the message.

        RIP Bullets
        Featured snippet from the web
        The RIP bullet is an Advanced Energy Transfer (AET) or frangible round. AET rounds are intentionally designed to fracture a single round into smaller pieces upon impact. … Upon impact, the bullet breaks apart along the grooves, creating nine different penetrating projectiles.Dec 7, 2018

        Meet the RIP Bullet: The Deadliest Ammo on Planet Earth …https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/meet-rip-bullet-deadliest-ammo-planet-earth-38162

          1. The report says she was shot 4-5 times and had other injuries from the windshield and bullets shattering. Bullets do not shatter, even hollowpoints. Hollowpoints mushroom out to slow down the projectile so that it does not go all the way through and hit someone standing behind a suspect. R.I.P. round literally becomes multiple projectiles on impact. Furthermore the windshield of her vehicle was intact, it had 5 bullet holes dead center in the middle of the windshield but was otherwise intact. Which is strange because the report stated that they fired their weapons as they approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and they could see her tires spinning, which is what happens when your vehicle is stuck in the snow, ice or sand, I am pretty sure everyone that lives here knows once you start spinning your tires your screwed, throwing it into reverse is not going to help. So why are the holes in the center of the windshield? And how bad a shot are these cops? Where did the other 10 shots hit? Why didn’t they just shoot the tires out? One last question this occurred off the road, why was like 14 miles of the highway closed in both directions for like 8 hours?

            1. ” Why didn’t they just shoot the tires out? ”

              Come on. Be serious… It cracks me up when people say this. It’s not like it is
              in the movies. Do you realize just how small of a target a tire is, especially
              a tire on a mini van ? Cops aren’t trained to shoot at tires. The train shooting
              at FBI silhouette targets, which are large targets with a person on them.
              They do this for a reason. Because they are supposed to shoot at people, not tires.

              – Add in the adrenaline factor of just finishing a lengthy high speed chase
              and the odds are slim to none that they would have hit a tire, unless they
              were standing very close to it. Plus, a lot of car wheels are still made out of thick steel, and when a bullet hits steel at the right angle, it has a very good potential for the bullet to end up hitting something or someone else…

              -I used to shoot handguns in competition in a couple different formats, and I typically shot 2000-3000 rounds a week practicing, and I can’t say for certain that in a high stress situation that I could hit a tire 100% of the time.
              Most cops don’t practice all that often. Some do because they enjoy shooting, but there are many of the younger generation that don’t really like guns, and only shoot when they are absolutely required too. So contrary to what you might believe, not all cops are the greatest of shots…

            2. Ummmmm….you have no clue about that. Ever seen what happens to bullets on steel? As far as your other questions….ask Casey Codding and Joe Astarita how bullets get where they do when it comes to shooting up a vehicle….because cops lie…just like Casey Codding and Joe Astarita did in a federal court of law. Crazy thing about it? Even the judge said he knew one or both were lying, but we would most likely never hear the truth

  4. What, felony DUI and running from the police and she gets a whole 30 days? That’ll teach her! I wonder how much would’ve it been f it was a male.

      1. OMG!!!!! More confirmation that the people here just suck!!! Haters with nothing nice to say or think about anyone, but I imagine they overly expect understanding and courtesy. Thank you Barney for moderating the comments section, and adding not only important details but also your thoughts as well.

  5. I agree 100% with you. The report says that they were approaching her vehicle that was stuck, after all there was a lot snow and ice and she was in a minivan, not exactly the best traction vehicle, and that she threw it in to reverse and it immediately lurched backwards towards the officer who was 30 feet behind her so they fired 14 shots to stop her from injuring the other officer, who could have easily stepped out of the way. GIVE ME A BREAK!! We are supposed to believe that a van would be able to be thrown into reverse, at full throttle, and begin moving at a high rate of speed in the ice and snow not to mention the pumice sand out there. I have experienced the pumice sand in many different vehicles and had a van like that one and I for one call BS!!!!

  6. 90 day suspension of license? Who does dhe know? It sounds like she tried to use her vehicle to fatally assault officers. She should NEVER drive again. Thanks for keeping us safe from this beast.

  7. You reported she started her jail sentence tonight? There is zero record of her being at the county jail and zero record of her on vinelink. Can anybody explain that one?

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