San Tan Valley woman sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for 2x fatal crash

(FLORENCE, AZ, August 14, 2023) - A San Tan Valley woman has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for killing two people in another vehicle when she crashed into it while driving under the influence.

On August 11, 2023, Pinal County Superior Court Judge Danielle Harris sentenced Janelle Littlebear, 39, to 21 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Littlebear pled guilty to two counts of Manslaughter, both Class Two Felonies.

On August 13th, 2022, Littlebear was driving her Toyota Camry northbound on Gantzel Road in San Tan Valley when she veered off the roadway onto the dirt shoulder before the vehicle traveled back sideways across the northbound lanes, onto the dirt median and collided with a southbound vehicle. The driver and passenger in the southbound vehicle were pronounced deceased and identified as Richard Hanson, 78, and Kathleen Franta, 78.

During the course of the investigation, witnesses indicated Littlebear was speeding prior to the vehicle veering off the roadway. A blood draw conducted on Littlebear at the hospital showed her BAC to be .271, or more than three times the legal limit.

This case was investigated by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.