By Cara McCoy (contact)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | 1:33 p.m.
Paul Maidman was a decorated Air Force veteran. His sister says he wanted to be a congressman and was working toward finishing a second college degree.
But instead of celebrating another achievement in Maidmanâ€™s life, his family is mourning his death.
Maidman, 29, died in a crash Friday morning in the northwest valley after police say an impaired driver rear-ended his car at the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue and Soaring Gulls Drive, which is west of Buffalo Drive.
Miranda Dalton, 28, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on drunken driving charges. She appeared in court Tuesday, where bail was set at $100,000.
She cried softly at several points throughout the short hearing. Maidmanâ€™s family sat in the gallery while Daltonâ€™s attorney, James Gallo, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Nelson addressed the judge.
Gallo had requested a bail of $50,000, saying Dalton, a graduate of Cheyenne High School, has strong ties to the community, including a 3-year-old daughter, and doesnâ€™t pose a flight risk.
In arguing for a higher bail, Nelson pointed to a 2001 conviction in Clark County for driving under the influence, which Dalton received when she was 20 years old. She also has a battery conviction for an altercation with a police officer, he said.
Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis set bail at $100,000. If Dalton makes bail, which Gallo said is unlikely, the judge ordered her to wear a SCRAM alcohol-monitoring device and surrender her driverâ€™s license.
Authorities said a preliminary breath test conducted shortly after the wreck showed an alcohol level more than double the legal limit of .08.
Maidmanâ€™s family says the conditions imposed on Dalton arenâ€™t strict enough. His sister, Dawn Fullerton-Buist, said her family has reached out to STOP DUI and other groups because they want to see more stringent penalties in Nevada for intoxicated drivers.
â€œShe killed my brother from behind. He never even had a chance to see what was coming,â€ Fullerton-Buist said after the hearing. â€œShe intentionally got into her car intoxicated. She intentionally killed my brother.â€
Family friend Bill Baker said he didnâ€™t want people to feel sorry for Dalton.
â€œSheâ€™s not the victim — it canâ€™t be said enough. The family has been destroyed, just ruined,â€ he said. â€œThis was a person that deliberately drove drunk, and she killed someone, and itâ€™s not OK.â€
According to Daltonâ€™s arrest report, she told the investigating officer she had been at Stoneyâ€™s bar, where she had consumed two alcoholic beverages. She later told the officer she â€œprobably had fourâ€ Jack and Cokes, and had started drinking at 10 p.m. The wreck happened at about 3:18 a.m.
Dalton, the police report said, told police she was driving home from the bar to her home near the intersection of Gowan Road and Durango Drive. She said she had stopped drinking at midnight.
The officer said in his report that he smelled a strong odor of alcohol on her breath. She was swaying and her speech was slurred, the report said; she also failed several field sobriety tests.
When officers searched Daltonâ€™s purse, they found three hydrocodone pills and one darvocet pill, none of which she had a prescription for, the report said.
Blood samples were taken after Dalton was brought to jail and complete toxicology results are pending, the report said.
Maidmanâ€™s gold 2003 Buick Century was struck from behind and was so mangled it was difficult to tell what it was, the report said.
Maidman died from his injuries at University Medical Center. His funeral will be Thursday in Suffern, N.Y., his family said.
A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Oct. 12.