NEW ALBANY — Almost a year to the day after a drunk-driving crash that resulted in the deaths of four — including an unborn child — a Floyd County woman has entered a plea agreement.
Taylor Barefoot, 32, appeared Thursday in Floyd County Circuit Court, where she pleaded guilty to three level 4 felonies for OWI causing death and a level 5 felony for involuntary manslaughter for the death of a fetus. Barefoot originally faced six level 4 felonies for OWI causing death and one level 5 for involuntary manslaughter. The plea has been taken under advisement.
Under the plea agreement, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by Floyd County Circuit Court Judge Terrence Cody after a two-day hearing April 8 and 9 and will be capped at 28 years. If convicted of all original charges, Barefoot could have been sentenced to up to 42 years in jail.
“This was a necessary step in moving toward justice in this case,” Floyd County Prosecutor Chris Lane said after the hearing. If the judge accepts the plea, both the state and defense will have an opportunity to present evidence during the sentencing hearing.
Police responded just before 9:30 p.m. March 7, 2020, to a crash between the 4.0 and 5.0 mile markers on Interstate 265 in Floyd County. It was determined that Barefoot was driving an SUV in the wrong direction in the westbound lane when her vehicle hit a car driven by Taylor Cole, who along with her unborn child died as a result of the crash. Passengers Leah Onstott-Dunn and another child also died in the wreck. Both adults were in their early 20s.
Whole blood taken from Barefoot after the crash and tested by the Indiana State Department of Toxicology showed she had an alcohol equivalent concentration of .30; the legal blood-alcohol content limit to drive in Indiana is 0.08.
Barefoot, who had been the only person in the SUV she was driving, admitted to police that she had been drinking, court records show. She also exhibited “slurred speech and bloodshot, glassy eyes,” according to the records. She was taken to University of Louisville Hospital for her injuries.
Barefoot has been out on bond since her initial hearing, after which she posted 10% of the $500,000 court cash bond set for her.