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Lebanon woman charged with 2018 death of motorcyclist Sarah Watson

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A Lebanon woman faces homicide charges for a crash that killed a female motorcyclist at Seven Mile Lane and Tangent Drive in May.

Miranda Rebecca Carnes, 20, was arraigned on an indictment and charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide on Thursday afternoon in Linn County Circuit Court.

She is accused of recklessly causing the death of Sarah Watson on the afternoon of May 14.

Watson, 21, of Albany, was a 2014 graduate of West Albany High School and a 2017 graduate of Linn-Benton Community College.

Witnesses told Linn County Sheriff’s Office deputies in the aftermath of the crash that a 2007 Toyota Prius headed eastbound on Tangent Drive didn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign and continued east through the intersection. The automobile collided with Watson’s 2006 Yamaha XV2 motorcycle, which was northbound.

Carnes was not injured in the crash.

She was lodged in the Linn County Jail on Thursday.

During Thursday’s brief teleconference hearing, Judge Michael Wynhausen set Carnes’ bail at $50,000, as requested by prosecutor Douglas Prince.

That amount of security is the minimum required by statute for a Measure 11 crime such as manslaughter. Second-degree manslaughter carries a mandatory minimum sentence of more than six years in prison.

Defense attorney Michael Lowry, handling the afternoon session of in-custody arraignments at the jail, said Carnes had no criminal history and worked as a caregiver.

Carnes, through Lowry, declined comment to the court.

Wynhausen appointed Arnold Poole as Carnes’ defense attorney, and scheduled the next hearing in the case for May 13.

Watson worked as a professional horse trainer and rider. At LBCC, she earned an associates degree in applied science animal technology and horse management.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.


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