Former San Jose City Council candidate and Bay Area Women’s March founder Jenny Higgins Bradanini was booked into county jail last week for felony vehicular manslaughter charges and released soon after on a $100,000 bail.
Higgins Bradanini, who ran for the open District 10 seat in the March primary election, hit and killed 66-year-old Santa Cruz resident Timothy Starkey last year while driving under the influence of powerful prescription drugs.
Around 11:40am on Dec. 16, Higgins Bradanini was driving to a doctor’s appointment when she struck Starkey on the 900 block of Blossom Hill Road in Los Gatos.
As first reported by San Jose Inside, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office filed felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence charges against Higgins Bradanini on July 14. The crime carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
A judge signed off on Higgins Bradanini’s arrest warrant late last week, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alexander Adams. She surrendered herself to county jail on July 30 where she was booked and released after posting bail.
Adams said that her arraignment hasn’t been scheduled at this time, most likely due to delays at the court caused by Covid-19.
Higgins Bradanini’s lawyer, Joshua Bentley, has yet to respond to a request for comment.
An incident report appended to Santa Clara County Superior Court charging documents stated that a witness saw Higgins Bradanini “swerving.” However, police say that she was unable to recall why she veered out of her lane.
“Bradanini did not display any objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication, but was unable to clearly describe her actions just prior to the collision had trouble focusing and articulating her thoughts or answering simple questions with slowed thinking, and apparent memory loss,” police wrote in a summary of the incident.
A blood test taken after the crash showed traces of a benzodiazepine in Higgins Bradanini’s system. The schedule IV drug, which she had a prescription for, comes with a warning that users should not drive or operate heavy machinery since side effects include sedation, weakness, dizziness and unsteadiness.