Driver Sentenced in Bianca Butthole Death

By Rob Jones, Founder
Monday, December 16, 2002 @ 9:39 AM

5 Years in Prison

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GRETNA, LA. - An Illinois man was sentenced Friday to five years in prison stemming from an automobile accident that killed Bianca Halstead (a.k.a Bianca Butthole) of Los Angeles-based rock band Betty Blowtorch and three years for seriously injuring another driver in New Orleans December 15. The sentencing terms will be served concurrently.

The driver, Brian McAllister, 34, was driving at high speeds under the influence of alcohol. McAllister pleaded guilty in September to vehicular homicide of Halstead, 36, a passenger in his car when he crashed about 5 a.m. on December 15, 2001 while traveling on Interstate 10.

McAllister also pleaded guilty to vehicular negligent injury of Robert Fenkel, 50, of Colorado Springs, CO, who still uses a wheelchair according to Jefferson Parish Assistant District Attorney Martin Belanger. He could have received up to 20 years for Halstead's death and five for Fenkel's injury. "It would be uncommon to have sentences to run consecutively," said Belanger. "Concurrent is the norm when both counts rise out of the same incident."

Judge Robert Burns presided over the verdict. Halstead's mother, Angele Woolery and her brother Andy Wilson addressed the court on Bianca's behalf at the sentencing hearing. Also in attendance was Betty Blowtorch band-mate, Blare N. Bitch along with family and friends. The Department of Corrections will determine which State prison McAllister will be assigned. He will be transferred from Jefferson Parish Correctional Center next week to a Louisiana State facility, says Bellanger.

McAllister, of Burbank, IL, was said to be driving in excess of 100 mph in a Corvette when he sideswiped another car, skidded across the median into oncoming traffic causing a collision with Fenkel's car, then hitting a pole.

McAllister's blood alcohol content was measured at .12 at East Jefferson General Hospital after the accident, said Belanger. McAllister suffered minor injuries. Vehicular homicide is death while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. "He could be eligible for parole one year, but most likely serve between 2 1/2 years to the full time of the conviction," says Belanger.

Betty Blowtorch, formed in 1998, was in the middle of a tour with Nashville Pussy at the time of the accident in support of their acclaimed debut full-length album, "Are You Man Enough," released on Foodchain Records in 2001.

McAllister, a fan of Halstead's all-girl rock band, had attended numerous shows on the tour. He had borrowed his brother's car to attend the performance at the Howling Wolf club earlier in the evening. Bianca, frontwoman and bassist for Betty Blowtorch, was receiving a ride to be dropped off off at her hotel at the time of the fatal accident.

Bianca, whose hell-raising, raucous stage persona epitomized rock 'n roll excess, had been clean and sober for 11 years. She was an active member of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, where she was of great service to many in the program.

Sunday was the one year anniversary of the passing of Bianca "Butthole" Halstead. She is buried in the "Garden of Legends" at Hollywood Forever Cemetary in Los Angeles, CA, which is open to the public. The Web cast of her her memorial service and a photographic tribute can be viewed on the Hollywood Forever Web site in the "Life Stories" section (under the last name "Halstead") at www.hollywoodforever.com.

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