A mother whose daughter disappeared after a wedding in the rural community of Grand Island and was found dead five days later has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the case.
Jennifer Weathers will plead guilty to DUII at her next court appearance on Feb. 5, 2019. A reckless endangerment charge against her will be dropped, her attorney, Walter Todd, said.
"She was driving under the influence of intoxicants. It had nothing to do with her daughter’s death, but sure, just like any grieving mother she’s been very sad," said Todd.
Prosecutors said Weathers was driving drunk with her daughter, 27-year-old Meighan Cordie, and her 3-year-old granddaughter on the night of Aug. 18, when Cordie went missing.
Weathers told investigators that she and Cordie got into a heated argument that night, and her daughter jumped out of the moving car, leaving her daughter, shoes and cellphone behind. Weathers drove away.
Family, friends, sheriff’s deputies and hundreds of volunteers spent days searching for Cordie. Her body was found down an embankment near Dayton, five days after she was reported missing and roughly nine miles from where her mother said she was last seen.
Investigators said Cordie hit a guardrail and died instantly.
Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry later said Cordie's death was ruled an accident, but her mother had lied about the night her daughter disappeared.
Weathers was not charged in Cordie’s death. The reckless endangerment charge was because her 3-year-old granddaughter was in the car the night Cordie died.
The Statesman Journal's Whitney Woodworth contributed to this story.