Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 1, 2012

Former bus driver to be sentenced

After selecting a new judge, plea bargain filed

By Mike Fletcher
Tribune staff writer

— After a year of legal maneuvers, the drunken driving case against former Kokomo School bus driver Theresa Mast is headed to a plea bargain.

Mast, 57, faces two misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and a Class D felony OWI after police say she was both drunk and medicated as she drove the girls swim team south on U.S. 31 in Hamilton County Dec. 3, 2011.

No one was injured and a coach managed to get Mast to pull the bus over after witnessing her erratic driving, court records showed.

Mast is expected to plead guilty Jan. 18 to a Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person and could get up to three years in prison.

If the judge accepts the plea, the misdemeanor charges would be merged with the Class D felony.

Mast’ attorney, Stephanie Doran, first tried to get the case moved to another county. That motion was denied. She then filed a petition for a special prosecutor, which also was denied.

Doran did manage to get a change of judge after Superior Court 3 Judge Doug Tate recused himself from the case since his wife works at Kokomo Center Schools.

Judge William Menges was then appointed the new judge.

Menges assumed jurisdiction of the case Nov. 13 and set a status hearing for Thursday.

Doran then filed a motion to lift the status hearing and set a plea and sentencing hearing.

The Kokomo school board fired Mast days after her arrest.