Trial set for former teacher accused in drunken driving crash

Marco Villarreal

Trial set for former teacher accused in drunken driving crash

CREATED Apr. 4, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A former school teacher charged with drunk driving made another appearance in court Wednesday to find out if her case is going to trial. A judge ruled there is enough evidence for prosecutors to try her before a jury.

Noel Lardeo was in court, but unlike Monday when the preliminary hearing began, the family was not. While the defense tried to keep this trial from going to court, Action News is learning the victims family is dealing with mounting problems.

For over an hour and a half Lardeo's defense attorney grilled a Las Vegas Metro traffic investigator about the accident at Spring Mountain and El Camino, in early February.

Wednesday was day two for Lardeo, who is accused of slamming into a bus stop, severely injuring 15-year old Conan Obenchain. Hoping to keep this from going to trial her attorney argued schematics of her tire pressure, brakes, and the level of the road. He then moved on to witnesses reporting to have smelled alcohol, comparing intoxication to diabetic episodes, and why she may have failed the three sobriety checks done that morning.

"The defense attorney is doing his job. Anything he said today certainly was not surprising to us. That's what he's paid to do," says Sandy Heverly with Stop DUI.

In the end, the judge approved the case to head to trial. The former CCSD elementary school teacher sat in silence.

"You know you expect more from people in certain professions," says Heverly.

Meanwhile, the Obenchain family struggles to support Conan after already losing his left leg below the knee.

"I think the main focus is on that right leg and whether that leg is going to come through or not. It was basically taken off in the impact and they've tried to put it back together, and they're hopeful, but the medical opinion is that it may not take," says family attorney Craig Perry.

Those who know the family say treatment costs are already at close to a million dollars.

"They're worried about the medical expenses. They're worried about the treatment. You know the bills are very, very high," says Perry.

Lardeo will next appear in court next week on April 11 for her arraignment. Until that time, local advocacy groups are meeting with the Obenchain family to try to help.

A fund has also been set up to help the family at Nevada National Bank under the name of Conan Obenchain. The account number is 2103206 and the bank can be reached at (702) 453-8889.