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Nampa man pleads not guilty to felony charges stemming from crash that killed newspaper carrier

Investigators say 20-year-old Grayson Thurston admitted to drinking hard alcohol before the April 5 crash.
Credit: Canyon Co. Jail
Grayson Thurston

CALDWELL, Idaho — A 20-year-old man who allegedly told investigators he had been drinking before a crash that killed a newspaper carrier has pleaded not guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter and aggravated DUI charges.

Grayson Thurston of Nampa made an appearance in a Canyon County courtroom Tuesday morning.

He was arrested on April 5, hours after the collision that killed 37-year-old Janet Gonzalez of Caldwell. Two other people in Gonzalez' car, her husband 40-year-old Roberto Gonzalez Diaz and a child whose name has not been released, were injured and taken to area hospitals.

According to the Idaho Press, Gonzalez and her husband worked as carriers for the newspaper and were out picking up papers to deliver when the crash happened just after 2 a.m. on South Florida Avenue near Key West Street.

ISP investigators determined that Thurston had smashed into Gonzalez' Mitsubishi Galant, killing the other driver at the scene.

Credit: Idaho Press
Janet Gonzalez and her husband, Roberto Gonzalez Diaz, delivered papers for the Idaho Press in Nampa and Caldwell. Janet, 37, was killed in a two-vehicle crash early Sunday morning.

According to court documents, Thurston told a Caldwell police officer who responded to the crash that he was drunk and "should not have been driving." He later told an ISP trooper that he had two shots of Captain Morgan rum before driving.

Thurston consented to a blood draw for testing, though the results have not yet been released.

At Tuesday's hearing, the judge in the case agreed to lower Thurston's bond from $500,000 to $50,000. The judge also ordered him to wear an alcohol monitor upon release. As of Tuesday afternoon, he was still listed on the Canyon County Jail roster.

Thurston is due back in court for pretrial hearing on July 13. His trial is set for Sept. 1.

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