Woman sentenced for DWI crash that killed her longtime partner

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In a court hearing, Kelley Brewer held back tears as she described her late father, Harold McCarty, and his relationship with his longtime partner Cheryl Walker Stiles.

“Cheryl and my father had a 10-year relationship that was a very good one,” Brewer said. “They loved each other very much and they helped each other very much, they had each other’s back.”

On Nov. 26, 2021, the two went out for drinks to celebrate Cheryl’s birthday and their anniversary. The celebration quickly took a turn for the worst after McCarty – who had prostate cancer at the time – wasn’t feeling well and asked Cheryl to drive him home.

“Every day that Cheryl gets up in the morning, she is alone,” Brewer said. “My father doesn’t get up on the other side of the bed anymore, he doesn’t make coffee first, or quietly walk around while her clients come in, or laugh with them.”

Nearly two years later, she faced a judge for her decision to drive intoxicated.

“He needed the help and I took it, I made a very serious mistake and I am very sorry,” Cheryl said.

In the court hearing, her attorney said McCarty wasn’t killed by injuries sustained in the actual accident, but he was asphyxiated by the seatbelt, according to OMI.

The case was unique in the fact that both the state and the defense agreed that Cheryl is not at risk of reoffending.

The judge ultimately suspended the vehicular homicide charge and sentenced Cheryl to five years of supervised probation.

“I think Ms. Walker Stiles will be living with that decision for the rest of her life,” Judge Lucy Solimon said. “I think anything the court does, at this point – her reality is harsher than any sentence I can impose.”

In addition to her five years of probation, she will have to serve 40 hours of community service each year with Mothers Against Drunk Driving or another organization approved by her probation officer.