Marysville woman avoids jail for fatal accident

A Marysville woman will have to serve 480 hours of community service and pay about $9,000 in court costs for a 2004 traffic accident that killed her boyfriend.

Cleora A. Swirtz has no memory of the fatal accident. She was found guilty last month of vehicular homicide.

Randall Allyn Frank, 17, was killed when Swirtz, driving about 100 mph, lost control of the 2000 Pontiac Sunfire and hit a tree along 99th Avenue NE near Arlington.

Swirtz was severely injured.

Public defender Marybeth Dingledy said Swirtz can’t recall the accident, and the woman’s mother told a judge Tuesday that her daughter had to relearn how do the simplest tasks during her long recovery.

Swirtz faced a two-year jail term, but Dingledy and deputy prosecutor Paul Stern both asked Snohomish County Superior Court Judge James Allendoerfer for leniency.

Allendoerfer agreed, saying there were several reasons for the lesser sentence, including Swirtz’s amnesia. Swirtz’s inability to remember what happened hindered her ability to properly assist in her own defense at trial, the judge said.

The judge said nobody in the courtroom knows exactly what happened. In addition, he said he has received numerous letters of support for Swirtz, including two of the jurors in her trial who believe she has suffered enough.

“I find it most just” to let Swirtz avoid a prison sentence, Allendoerfer said. “Putting you in the penitentiary would simply be punishment for punishment sake.”

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