Oregon Crime Victims Law Center,
Sentencing in criminal case State v. Fulmer, Columbia County Case No. 08-1276, Mon., Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. Judge Jenefer Grant, Columbia County Courthouse, Courtroom 311, 230 Strand St., St. Helens. A young Vernonia woman will appear before a Columbia County Circuit Court judge Monday and ask for the drunk driver who disabled her for life to be ordered to pay her a $125,000 criminal fine to more appropriately punish him for his conduct than the minimal jail sentence he will be ordered to serve.
The woman, Rhiannon Meyer, was 18 in 2007 when she was a passenger in a pick-up truck driven by Fred Rick Fulmer IV, also of Vernonia. Fulmer, whose truck ended up 30 feet down an embankment in Vernonia, told a sheriff’s deputy at the scene that he had Ms. Meyer’s life in his hands and that he might as well have used a gun. A blood sample taken three hours later showed that Fulmer had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10, above Oregon’s legal limit, as well as evidence that he had used marijuana, cocaine and other drugs prior to the wreck.
Meyer was hospitalized for 27 days, during which time she was kept in a drug-induced coma to reduce the swelling of her brain that resulted from the severe traumatic brain injury she suffered in the wreck.
Despite subsequent rehabilitative therapy, Meyer’s life remains forever altered by her traumatic brain injury. She is fearful about riding in cars and being alone. She is also scared about how she will be able to live her life because she cannot live on her own. Meyer’s cognitive deficiencies impair her ability to function and her ability to enjoy life. She does not watch movies because her memory deficiencies prevent her from being able to follow the storyline. Likewise, she does not read books because her memory deficiencies prevent her from being able to recall what she has read. She was recently found by the Social Security Administration to be disabled.
Fulmer’s life, unfortunately, does not seem to have been similarly transformed by the 2007 wreck in which Meyer received such severe injuries: in 2009, while out of custody on bail for it, he was arrested for and convicted of another charge of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.
Meyer’s attorneys, Erin Olson and Janine Robben, are representing her through the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center. The center, which was founded in 2009 by former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers and others, provides victims of crime with no-cost representation in enforcing their rights in criminal cases.
Additional information about the case is available from Janine Robben at (503) 208-8160 or from Erin Olson at (503) 546-3150.