Felony DUI charges filed against Sonoma County sheriff’s wife after May crash into Santa Rosa home

Natasha Whittinghill-Engram was arrested following a crash May 20. She’s suspected of being under the influence of alcohol when she crashed into a home, with a blood alcohol content of 0.20% or higher.|

Felony DUI charges were filed Friday against the wife of Sonoma County Sheriff Eddie Engram stemming from a crash last month into a Santa Rosa home.

Natasha Whittinghill-Engram faces one count each of DUI causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08% causing injury, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.

She had a blood alcohol content of 0.2% or higher at the time of the May 20 crash, according to the charges.

Whittinghill-Engram was arraigned Friday morning in Sonoma County Superior Court before Judge Troye Shaffer, records show.

Her attorney, Marty Woods, could not be reached for comment.

The defendant is scheduled to return to court Aug. 8 to enter a plea and schedule a preliminary hearing, which will determine if there’s enough evidence for her to go to trial.

Whittinghill-Engram, 47, was arrested May 20 after police said she crashed into a house at Beaumont Way and Calistoga Road in Santa Rosa.

Her car, a black Tesla, traveled over a curb, through a fence and directly into the corner of the home, police and neighbors said at the time.

One of its occupants, Lori Johnson, said she suffered cuts and bruises after the car crashed into her home and sent debris into her living room, where she was sitting on a couch watching television.

Her husband was asleep in another room and was not injured.

Whittinghill-Engram did not suffer significant injuries.

Neighbors said Engram showed up to the scene minutes after the crash and spoke to his wife before keeping his distance while Santa Rosa police investigated.

The next morning he issued a statement via Facebook, on his official page as sheriff, expressing concern for his wife and for Johnson.

A MESSAGE FROM SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFF EDDIE ENGRAM As Sheriff, I always aim to be open and honest with the community I...

Posted by Sheriff Eddie Engram on Saturday, May 20, 2023

“I understand that our community will have more questions and want answers. So do I,” Engram said in the statement.

“However, because this incident is being investigated by Santa Rosa, in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest, Santa Rosa Police Department will be handling media inquiries.”

Court records show Whittinghill-Engram was released May 22 after posting $100,000 bail.

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at colin.atagi@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @colin_atagi

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