The 26-year-old Sioux Falls woman who is accused of running over Highway Patrol Trooper Andrew Steen last year can face a harsher sentence because she has a previous felony on her record.
Judge Joseph Neiles made the ruling Friday afternoon during a motions hearing in Rachel Coleman's case.
Because Coleman has three DUI’s on her record she is being charged with being a habitual offender. But Friday her attorneys argued that the status should not enhance her sentence for certain charges.
Coleman faces up to 130 years in prison if she's convicted on all the charges she faces for allegedly driving drunk and running over Steen last October.
Coleman’s attorneys argued that because the legislature already enhanced the penalty for Aggravated Assault against a Law Enforcement Officer she shouldn't have to also face a harsher sentence for being a habitual offender.
The argument could have knocked 25 years off Coleman's potential sentence but Judge Neiles rejected the motion.
However, Neiles will allow Coleman's defense attorneys to hire a reconstructionist for $5,000 and an expert to analyze bullet holes from the scene for $2,500.
Investigators say Coleman ran over Steen in the early morning hours of October 17 after he tried to pull her over for sitting through a green light and crossing the centerline at a Sioux Falls intersection.
Coleman led Steen on a 20 minute pursuit through Sioux Falls before she pulled over in the parking lot of the Bridges at 57th Street shopping center. Trooper Steen got out of his car and tried to stop her but authorities say Coleman ran him over while nearby deputies fired their weapons at Coleman's vehicle.
Steen suffered critical head injuries but has since recovered and recently received a national trooper of the year award.
Coleman will now have to wait for her trial knowing that she has the possibility of going to prison for the rest of her life.
Friday afternoon Judge Neiles also scheduled Coleman's trial for January 21; it's expected to take three weeks.