LUMMI RESERVATION - A Whatcom County man convicted of his seventh DUI was sentenced Thursday, Nov. 15, to more than four years in prison for being drunk when he crashed his motorcycle, injuring his 70-year-old fiancée.
In early February, Warren Joe McCutchen, 64, picked up his fiancée from her wheelchair - with help from two other unidentified men - and loaded her onto the back of a 1992 Kawasaki motorcycle outside his home on Waldren Drive, according to court records.
McCutchen had been drinking. Witnesses saw him swerving as he motored north toward Lake Terrell. When he got to the stop sign at Slater Road, he blew through the intersection, lost control and crashed, leaving the woman with a 4-inch gash on her left leg and fracturing a bone above her knee.
A blood draw later revealed McCutchen's blood alcohol content was 0.21, almost three times the legal limit. His license was suspended in the first degree because of past driving offenses, including five previous DUI convictions: in 1992, 2002, February 2003, May 2003 and 2006.
As a result of the crash, the woman went to live in a nursing home. Family members alleged, in a restraining order request that was later approved, McCutchen started using her money to pay his bills, threatened to hurt her family members and sneaked alcohol into the nursing home.
On July 17, court records show, McCutchen was pulled over for driving a truck the wrong way on a one-way street. He handed the officer a Ziploc bag with his registration inside, but he couldn't open the bag. The officer asked him to undergo a sobriety test. McCutchen stumbled out of the cab. A breathalyzer showed he had a BAC of 0.11. He also admitted to smoking marijuana within the past day.
He pleaded guilty this week to vehicular assault, two counts of driving under the influence and two counts of driving with a license suspended in the first degree.
Addressing the court at his sentencing, McCutchen said he was sorry for the pain he caused his fiancée.
"I hope someday I can be back with her," he said. "I love her, and I miss her."
Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder acknowledged his regret seemed genuine, but told McCutchen it didn't seem he learned his lesson the last six times.
Snyder ordered him to serve four years and five months in prison.