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WMUR New Hampshire
By Andy Hershberger
UPDATED 8:48 AM EDT Oct 26, 2013
MANCHESTER, N.H. —New autopsy results reveal that Wendy Lawrence, 45, had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. Toxicological testing also showed she had marijuana as well as drugs in her system including Oxycodone and Prozac.
Lawrence’s death by a New Hampshire State Trooper in Manchester last month was ruled justified, according to an attorney generals’ report.
Lawrence, of Canterbury, was shot four times by Trooper Chad Lavoie after a motor vehicle pursuit that started in Bow on Interstate 89 and ended at the intersection of Dave Street and Kennard Road in Manchester.
The report released Tuesday said Lawrence was pulled over by a state trooper at about 6 p.m. Sept. 30 after that trooper saw her car driving erratically.
Officials say Lawrence produced a non-driver’s identification, and while the trooper was checking her background, Lawrence took off. The trooper followed for a short distance then ended the pursuit, which reached speeds close to 90 mph, according to the report.
Investigators said Lawrence was involved in an accident at exit 1 off Interstate 89 and almost hit a pedestrian.
Police again pursued her south on Interstate 93 until Lawrence got off at exit 9S in Manchester.
The report said police again broke off the pursuit, following Lawrence’s car at slow speeds and a safe distance.
Other troopers got involved, and Lawrence’s car was eventually blocked in at the intersection of Dave Street and Kennard Road.
The report said Lavoie was in front of Lawrence’s car and got out to take her into custody.
That’s when, officials said, the woman hit Lavoie’s cruiser, backed into a cruiser behind her and started driving toward Lavoie, who was standing in front of Lawrence’s car with his gun drawn.
The report said the trooper ordered Lawrence several times to stop the car, but she refused. That’s when Lavoie opened fire, according to the report.
An autopsy concluded that Lawrence’s fatal wound was to the chest.
Officials said in the report that Lawrence had a lengthy criminal history and deferred jail time that could have been imposed if she was arrested.
“At the time she drove toward Trooper Lavoie, Ms. Lawrence had already demonstrated that she was willing to take great risks and potentially inflict great harm in order to evade the troopers.” the report said.
The trooper who fatally shot Lawrence has been involved in two prior police-involved shootings, one in May 2011 and another in October 2011.