Woman who stole car with a baby in it gets jail time

MEDFORD — An 18-year-old Medford woman who stole and crashed a car carrying a toddler was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in Jackson County Circuit Court to charges of third-degree assault, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Judge Ron Grensky sentenced Lauryne Alizabeth Stubbs, 18, to 50 days in the Jackson County Jail on the four guilty pleas. Her driver's license has been suspended for five years — the maximum allowed for those charges, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Beth Heckert. Grensky also ordered Stubbs to be placed on supervised probation for three years, pay a $1,000 fine, and attend drug and alcohol classes, she said.

The state dismissed the kidnapping charges, Heckert said.

"We could prove she took the child, but not her intent," she said, adding that Stubbs made a tearful apology to her friend at the sentencing.

Stubbs was jailed Feb. 23 on car theft, kidnapping, assault and other charges that carried a bail of more than $1 million after she drove off in a friend's white Pontiac Sunfire with her friend's 19-month-old son in the back seat and crashed it. The mother had reported her car stolen — with her child inside — just moments earlier.

The woman had driven to Ashland with Stubbs to meet a friend, Ashland police said. At the friend's house in the 100 block of South Mountain Avenue, the mother ran inside for a few minutes, leaving Stubbs and the child waiting in the car. Stubbs slipped into the driver's seat and drove away.

Officers quickly found the vehicle, which had rolled near the intersection of South Valley View and Eagle Mill roads. Stubbs and the boy had suffered minor injuries in the crash. Both were taken to Rogue Valley Medical Center, police said.

The boy was strapped into a car seat at the time of the crash and was released to his mother after treatment. The mother made a statement at Stubbs' sentencing, Heckert said.

"She was upset her child could have been seriously hurt or killed," said Heckert, adding Grensky told Stubbs she'd better take the sentence as a "serious wake-up call."

In January, in an unrelated case, Stubbs was arraigned on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. She also pleaded guilty to that charge Thursday. She was sentenced to 10 additional days in jail, Heckert said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

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