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Medford woman accused of crashing into deputy

A Medford woman is facing numerous charges, including assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants, after she allegedly crashed into a deputy's vehicle while he was stopped at a stop sign.

Stephanie Ann Gunter, 49, of the 3300 block of Tahitian Avenue in Medford, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of third-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, DUII, failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving, second-degree criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person.

In an initial court appearance via television monitor on Aug. 2, Gunter said, "I'm guilty of everything. I'm sorry."

A judge advised her to talk to an attorney before making statements.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Groom was stopped at a stop sign on Cedar Links Drive facing west toward Springbrook Road. Gunter was driving north on Springbrook Road when she allegedly struck the side of Groom's vehicle, causing more than $500 in damage and injuries to Groom's neck, left arm and left hip.

Gunter allegedly drove away from the scene, traveling east on Cedar Links Drive and then north on Tahitian Avenue. Groom attempted to stop her, but she allegedly kept driving, the affidavit said.

Groom then used a law enforcement pursuit maneuver in which he nudged the rear of Gunter's fleeing vehicle. The maneuver brought Gunter's vehicle to a stop near the intersection of Tahitian Avenue and Rosewood Drive, the affidavit said.

Groom then took Gunter into custody, the affidavit said.

A Medford police officer who responded to investigate talked to Gunter, who was in the back of Groom's vehicle. The police officer reported she had slow, slurred speech, was lethargic, had bloodshot, watery eyes, smelled of alcohol, admitted drinking, was confused and had defecated herself, the affidavit said.

Gunter consented to a breath test and had a blood alcohol level of 0.2 percent, more than twice the legal limit, the affidavit alleged.

Gunter has two previous convictions for DUII in Jackson County, according to court records.

Originally held in the Jackson County Jail on $250,000 bail, Gunter was released on her own recognizance with enhanced release conditions that she check in regularly with a release officer, not drive without a valid license and insurance and consume no alcohol, intoxicants or controlled substances unless medically prescribed.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.