Nearly eight years after Mike McGuire was killed in a hit-and-run, the city of Algona will pay his widow $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit...

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Nearly eight years after Mike McGuire was killed in a hit-and-run, the city of Algona will pay his widow $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged the driver should have been behind bars when the accident took place.

McGuire died after he was struck by a pickup outside Leon’s Deli, a gas station and convenience store in Buckley, Pierce County, on Dec. 2, 1999. Tracy Enoch-Jevne, a mother of four who already had four drunken-driving convictions on her record at the time, was arrested several hours after the accident. She was found guilty of vehicular homicide and sentenced to eight years in prison in May 2000.

McGuire’s widow, Susan McGuire, has long maintained that Enoch-Jevne should have been in a King County jail at the time of the accident, and that Enoch-Jevne was free only due to a series of errors by the city of Algona, King County and the state Department of Corrections.

“This never should have happened,” Susan McGuire said in a statement Monday. “This drunk driver was a danger to the community, and the city, the county and the state knew that.”

Enoch-Jevne was not charged with drunken driving in the accident that killed Mike McGuire.

But two months earlier, in late October 1999, she was transferred from a Pierce County jail to a King County jail as she worked off sentences from multiple drunken driving and drug convictions she received between 1996 and 1999.

At the time of the transfer, Enoch-Jevne had at least two months left to serve on a sentence stemming from a 1996 drunken-driving conviction in Algona, according to Steve Bulzomi, one of Susan McGuire’s attorneys.

Bulzomi said the city of Algona should have made King County aware of the remaining sentence that Enoch-Jevne was supposed to serve. Likewise, he said, King County should have reviewed Enoch-Jevne’s records and discovered the unserved jail time.

Instead, Bulzomi said, a King County judge gave Enoch-Jevne credit for time served on an unrelated DUI charge and released her after just three days in custody.

“The city and the county were responsible for mistakenly releasing Enoch-Jevne,” Bulzomi said.

The settlement announced Monday covers the liability of Algona and King County, but the city of Algona will make the entire payment to Susan McGuire because King County was jailing Enoch-Jevne on a contract basis for Algona, which does not have its own jail, according to Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officials for the city of Algona could not be reached for comment.

McGuire is continuing to press a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections, which alleges that the state should have re-arrested Enoch-Jevne after she was released in October 1999 because she violated the conditions of her release.

That lawsuit is scheduled for trial in Pierce County in December, Bulzomi said.

David Bowermaster: 206-464-2724 or dbowermaster@seattletimes.com