Followup: Sealth car-attack suspect charged, released from jail

Two updates tonight in the incident that sent two Chief Sealth International High School students to the hospital after a car hit them last Wednesday: The woman arrested the next day, 37-year-old Amy Lynn O’Brien, is now charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of felony hit-and-run, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office website. The King County Jail Register says she is out of jail as of just before 6 o’clock tonight; though her bail was set at $250,000 last week, the register describes it as a “conditional release” – so far, we have not found court documents explaining why, so we will have to follow up with prosecutors tomorrow. O’Brien’s arraignment is scheduled for December 17th.

16 Replies to "Followup: Sealth car-attack suspect charged, released from jail"

  • Florence Fiddler Lovell December 4, 2012 (9:29 pm)

    Please do follow up. As the aunt of one of these girls I’d sure like to know how this was such a low charge to begin with and how they can let her out after trying to kill two girls.

  • Seriously? December 4, 2012 (9:48 pm)

    And how does she have $250,000 bail at 4pm and at 6pm walks out with no bail? Lets hope she isn’t driving! Looking forward to more news tomorrow cuz something isn’t adding up.

  • E December 4, 2012 (11:05 pm)

    Why does a photo/mugshot of Ms O’Brien seem so hard to find? Seattle Times has a photo of the back of her head! Just curious what she looks like . . .

    • WSB December 4, 2012 (11:23 pm)

      Mugshots are not made public unless (a) a person is being sought by police and they decide to ask the public for help, or (b) they have served time in state prison. Neither applied here. Jail booking shots are not released to the media. I assume the back of her head was from her bail hearing last week; often the defense lawyers ask the judge to prohibit photography of the suspect, and often the judge says something like, just don’t show her face. At her arraignment, photography likely will be possible, although arraignments are usually held in a courtroom that is a very poor environment for photography – the bench is in a room that is walled off (glass) from the very small spectator (etc.) area and separated by a couple rows of lawyers and others – to get something resembling a decent shot, you have to be in a certain spot along the glass, pointing your camera a certain way …

  • DelridgeResident December 5, 2012 (7:47 am)

    Please do let us know what you learn from the prosecutor’s office. As someone who lives in the area, it is very concerning to find out this woman has been released.

  • Mary December 5, 2012 (8:47 am)

    Did the second girl go home from Harborview yet?

    • WSB December 5, 2012 (9:05 am)

      Mary – when last we talked with Harborview, the family had asked to keep her information private. The only public information since then has been the description of her in critical condition as of the time the report was filed for last week’s bail hearing. – TR

  • Morgan December 5, 2012 (9:06 am)

    Assault? I would say attempted murder.

    • WSB December 5, 2012 (9:25 am)

      I’m at the courthouse for another case but have just received this paperwork. According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, while they asked for her to be kept in jail on the same $250K bail, the judge opted to release her on “personal recognizance.”

  • rico December 5, 2012 (9:49 am)

    Can you provide a name for the judge to help aid folks when voting for judges

    • WSB December 5, 2012 (11:06 am)

      The judge appears, from another document I found online, to have been Judge Theresa Doyle.

  • RoomWithAView December 5, 2012 (10:37 am)

    Another example of the way the law refuses to take automobiles seriously. If she had used a gun she would still be in jail, but because of US car culture sociopathy, she’s out on the streets to maim or kill others.

  • Morgan December 5, 2012 (11:17 am)

    Thank you for the judges name. I am keeping a list of judges that let people out/off. We need to get rid of these judges.

  • DelridgeResident December 5, 2012 (7:47 pm)

    How does someone go from 250,000 dollar bail to release on personal recognizance? That seems like a drastic difference to me. One judge determines that probable cause existed to hold her on such a high bail amount, and then the next day a judge releases without bail. Something is wrong here. Perhaps the woman is terminally ill… Who knows.

  • WS Parent December 5, 2012 (9:58 pm)

    She reports to Judge Richard McDermott (his email is available at if you’d like to voice your concern. I plan on sending him an email.

  • ad December 6, 2012 (12:20 am)

    Thank you, WS parent.
    WSB- Can you provide the cause # for this case?

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