<![CDATA[By Lauren Keene McNaughton Media Family and friends of an Esparto couple gathered outside a Yolo County courtroom Wednesday, grieving for a former Davis woman killed in a suspected drunken-driving crash, and for her husband who now faces murder charges in connection with her death. Joshua Douglas Muller, 30, did not enter a plea to the murder count or an accompanying charge of gross vehicular manslaughter, instead seeking a two-week continuance while his family determines whether to seek a public defender or retain a private attorney. He stands accused of causing a vehicle crash in Winters on Saturday that killed his wife, 39-year-old Sarah Morrissey Muller, a Davis High School graduate and mother of four known for her outsized personality and wicked sense of humor. “Everybody loved her. She was a great gal,” said Mike Morrissey, Sarah’s father, who traveled from Coos Bay, Ore., for Wednesday’s court hearing. “She was my only child.” “Sarah was definitely larger than life. You knew when she entered a room,” added Ana Feliciano, a friend of Sarah’s since their elementary-school days in Davis. “She was incredibly popular, didn’t stick to one type of group of clique. This is a big, big loss for a lot of people.” According to the Winters Police Department, the Mullers were heading home from a “date night” in downtown Winters on Saturday when their sport-utility vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree on Railroad Avenue near Neimann Street at about 9:30 p.m. Sarah Muller, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, died at the scene. Friends say the couple lived in Esparto, not Arbuckle as reported by Winters police. Joshua Muller, also injured in the crash, was arrested after a preliminary alcohol screening revealed a 0.14 percent blood-alcohol content, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, police said. He also was on probation for a prior DUI conviction out of Colusa County. The murder charge stems from California’s Watson implied-malice rule, reflecting the prior court warnings Joshua Muller would have received about the dangers of impaired driving, as well as the advisement that a future DUI resulting in a death could bring a murder conviction. But several of his relatives and friends said they hope it doesn’t come to that, calling the collision “a tragic accident” that has left Joshua Muller devastated. “This is not something that Josh would have ever wanted to happen. They were madly in love,” Feliciano said. “I can’t wait for this to be over for their family. They (the children) need their dad back.” Muller remains in Yolo County Jail custody for now, with visiting Yolo Superior Judge Stephen Mock declining to set bail Wednesday “given the nature of the charges,” he said. He’s due back in court March 12 for a plea entry and possible bail hearing. — Reach Lauren Keene at email@example.com or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene]]>
Woman mourned; husband arraigned for alleged DUI crash in Winters
Friends and family are grieving for a woman killed in a suspected drunken-driving crash, and for her husband who faces murder charges in connection with her death.