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9/9/2012 6:00:00 AM
Drink and I'm sending you to prison, Judge tells Peach Springs man
Brainard Walema
Brainard Walema

Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter


A Mohave Superior Court judge expressed doubt that a defendant who pleaded guilty to his role in the death of a Peach Springs woman last summer would be able to stop drinking.

Brainard Walema was sentenced to five years probation Tuesday after pleading to abuse of a vulnerable adult for the death of Darlene Sinyella.

The body of Sinyella, who suffered from diabetes, used a cane to walk and was blind, was found June 28, 2011, by a survey crew on the north end of the Valentine Cemetery near Truxton. The medical examiner concluded that the 39-year-old woman died of exposure.



Four charged

Four of Sinyella's friends were charged six months after her death following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prosecutors said all five people were drunk when they visited the cemetery off tribal land on the way back from Kingman. None of the four defendants were said to have expressed concern when they left Sinyella behind despite her health conditions and temperatures that reached 100 degrees, nor did any of them raise an alarm when no one saw Sinyella around town for the next three days.

"Being intoxicated is not a defense for what should have been done," Prosecutor Jace Zack said.

Walema and Angelina Wilder have both accepted plea deals in the case, while Alicia Hunter and Roland Cook have not. Zack said Cook is facing second-degree murder charges because he was the driver that day, the least intoxicated of the group and the most culpable in the death.

Walema is currently serving time in the Peach Springs jail for driving under the influence. He also has several prior DUI charges.



Prison possible

One of the conditions of Walema's probation is to stay away from alcohol. Mohave Superior Court Judge Steven Conn expressed doubt that Walema would be able to comply given his previous history.

"If you drink and I find out about it, it will be a violation of your probation and you will go to prison," Conn said.

Conn also sentenced Walema to 500 hours community service.

"I think that for your involvement for leaving a person to die like some animal in the desert, I think some form of punishment is appropriate," he said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Article comment by: snc cns

"If you drink and I find out about it, it will be a violation of your probation and you will go to prison," Conn said.

You cant tell an alcoholic or an addict to just stop and not do it again. It just doesn't work that way. Why don't they send him to a year long inpatient treatment to HELP him with his addiction. Even prison time doesn't help alcoholics or addicts. They need treatment. Of course he will drink again, because he is an alcoholic. Sad story all around.


Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Article comment by: WEIRD .....

"Being intoxicated is not a defense for what should have been done," Prosecutor Jace Zack said.
YET...........

Zack said Cook is facing second-degree murder charges because he was the driver that day, the LEAST INTOXICATED of the group and the most culpable in the death

COULD OF PROBABLY LEFT OUT LEAST INTOXICATED SINCE ITS NOT A DEFENSE FOR WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE!!!


Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

There shouldn't have been any probation in regard to this case. A message needs to be sent out that the courts will not tolorate this type of behavior. They should be sent to jail.



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