Suspect in deadly DWI crash found competent for trial

Jennifer Englade, who is accused of driving drunk and causing a wreck that killed three people and an unborn baby last year, was ruled competent to stand trial last week.

Englade, who was nearly twice over the legal alcohol limit, crossed a raised median last May on Airline Highway and crashed head-on into a Honda Civic, according to State Police. The driver of the Civic, Romishe Mejia-Fequier of Harvey, was killed in the crash. Esther Centeno, who was pregnant and was riding with Mejia-Fequier, also died in the wreck, as did the passenger in the car that crashed into the two women, Joshua Jones.

Two doctors who examined Englade last August found her incompetent to assist her counsel and proceed to trial. In November, Englade was referred to the East Louisiana Mental Health System to undergo treatment to restore competency.

Judge Emile St. Pierre, who is presiding over the case, ordered that two doctors reexamine Englade on April 29. Those doctors say she is now ready to face the charges against her in court.

Before the recent ruling, Mejia-Fequier’s parents, Robert and Ariana, were troubled by the fact that Englade had yet to answer for their daughter’s death.

“Unlike my daughter and the other victims of this horrific tragedy, Englade is still alive. Every request, every plea of hers has been granted or taken into consideration,” the parents wrote in a letter to St. Pierre. “She was declared ‘incompetent’ and unable to stand trial. She was transferred to the psych ward due to her having a ‘difficult time’ in jail.

“But is that not the point for people who break the law? Is that not the entire purpose of jail, to punish those who show no regard to behaving in a lawful manner that is acceptable to society?”

The parents say that a letter Englade wrote to St. Pierre asking him not to “throw her life away” made them sick.

“Please don’t take my life away from me. I have had a rough life, from growing up to losing loved ones,” Englade wrote. “When I was 11 my mom was hit by a car and killed. My grandparents that raised me died.”

Englade wrote that she would do anything to turn back time to before the fatal crash and that spending time in prison has scared her.

Englade is charged with three counts of vehicular homicide, one count of third-degree feticide and one count of vehicular negligent injuring.

Her trial is set to begin on Nov. 18.


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