Prosecutor: Bottle of liquor found in pocket of man charged in wreck that killed Houston healthcare worker

HOUSTON – The man accused of causing a fatal wreck on the Katy Freeway service road over the weekend faced a judge for the first time on Monday. Brandon Freeman, 32, was charged with intoxication manslaughter and remains in jail on a $60,000 bond.

Police said Amy Shypailo, 29, was killed Sunday when Freeman ran a red light and broadsided her car at the intersection of the Katy Freeway service road and Gessner.

“Defendant blew the red light, we’re going to guess somewhere over 80 miles an hour,” said Sean Teare, Chief of the Harris County District Attorney’s vehicular crimes division.

Teare said Shypailo was on her way to Memorial-Hermann Hospital in Memorial City, where she worked as a speech pathologist. Teare said Freeman told officers he had a fight with his girlfriend and was just driving around.

During a probable cause hearing, prosecutors laid out the evidence against Freeman, which included having a strong odor of alcohol about his person.

“Defendant also had very poor balance and slurred speech,” a prosecutor read to the magistrate Monday.

Prosecutors say Freeman admitted to having “couple of beers and a couple of shots of Hennessy.” Freeman couldn’t remember when he started drinking or when he stopped, prosecutors said. Officials believe Shypailo died instantly in the crash and Freeman was unharmed, Teare said.

“Houston Fire Department got there, noticed obvious signs of intoxication — one of them being he had a big bottle of Hennessy in his pocket,” said Teare. “She was literally going to the hospital to help other people in her job, and she was just wiped out by this incredibly selfish act.”