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Idaho jury convicts man who struck a 16-year-old girl while drunk, breaking her neck

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 14:09:05-04

BOISE, Idaho — This article was originally written by Ruth Brown with the Idaho Statesman.

An Ada County jury convicted a 70-year-old man on Monday of aggravated driving under the influence after he struck a 16-year-old Kuna girl last year who was walking her dog.

Jurors found Joseph Jefferies, of Melba, guilty after a trial. An enhancement charge for being an alleged persistent violator was dismissed.

Authorities said last year that Jefferies was drunk when on Sept. 2, at West Avalon Street and North School Avenue in Kuna, he hit Sunshine Bryden in a marked crosswalk. He was accused of having a blood alcohol content of .096, exceeding the legal limit of .08.

The force of the impact moved the girl about 70 feet down the street, according to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. The dog was also injured.

Sunshine’s mother, Carolyn Bryden, told the Idaho Statesman last year that her daughter sustained a broken neck and leg and had to undergo surgery.

Jefferies was previously convicted of driving under the influence in 2006 and 2001, according to online court records.

Jefferies is set for sentencing at 9 a.m. May 20. He faces up to 15 years in prison.