The wife of a man killed by an allegedly drunken driver said that she could not bring herself to see the suspect in court Monday as Dakota County prosecutors filed a homicide charge.

"I'm just too hurt and angry to face her," Denece Moore said of Julie Ann Fischer, who was charged in connection with the collision that killed Tijuan Moore, 50, of St. Paul, and slightly injured his passenger early Friday in Mendota Heights.

Fischer, 49, of Lakeville, was charged Monday with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation.

The crash happened at 1 a.m. Friday after Moore's car stalled in a traffic lane of northbound Interstate 35E.

Fischer told authorities she had about four drinks before the wreck and didn't realize she had hit the other vehicle, according to the complaint. She had an open bottle of alcohol and was confused, slurring her speech and swaying in the driver's seat, the court papers say.

Denece Moore said she's glad that serious charges were filed but also feels sympathy for the driver, who had a drunken-driving arrest this past summer and a license revocation in September. That case remains open.

Monday's charges "won't bring my husband back," Denece Moore said.

"I just hope she gets the help she needs and will not be out driving drunk," she said.

Three other relatives did go to Hastings to see Fischer charged.

Judge Shawn Moynihan set bail at $250,000 without conditions, or $200,000 with conditions. He denied a lower bail request from Fischer's attorney, who said she's being held in the Ramsey County Jail on a suicide watch.

'Where's my daddy?'

Denece Moore choked up as she talked of the Moores' 4-year-old grandson, JaVon Scroggins, whom they are raising, and who knows them as his parents.

"Where's my daddy?" the little boy keeps asking, she said.

Moore, 39, said she believes that the Lakeville woman "has destroyed her own family, too."

Moore said she doesn't hate the suspect. "I want justice, but what justice can you make when his life is gone?" Moore said, adding that she hopes to someday forgive the woman.

Troopers called to the scene, just north of Interstate 494 at Wagon Wheel Trail, found Moore's car on the right shoulder, the rear portion badly smashed, and several people coming to his aid.

An autopsy found that he died at the scene of an internal decapitation, in which his brain was severed from the spine, his wife said.

According to the complaint:

"Fischer was confused and disoriented, her radio was extremely loud and she fumbled with the controls when asked to turn the radio down. Fischer was slow to respond to questions and instructions."

She had bloodshot eyes, her speech was slurred, and she smelled strongly of alcohol.

A trooper spotted a nearly empty bottle of a lemonade-flavored alcoholic drink on the driver's side floor.

After being asked to get out of her SUV, she tried to do so without unbuckling her seat belt.

"Fischer was very unsteady on her feet and staggered while attempting to stand in place," and she moved her head from side to side, the complaint says.

She was so unsteady the trooper didn't try to have her walk or stand on one leg, and she failed a preliminary alcohol breath test at the scene.

'Swerving all over'

One witness told authorities that he was behind Fischer's SUV and saw that "it was swerving all over."

The witness said he saw Moore's car stalled on the road with hazard lights on and that Fischer's SUV rear-ended it.

Fischer told a trooper that she was driving from Lakeville to Bloomington after having about three glasses of wine and one Mike's Hard Lemonade. She said she didn't know anything about the crash and that she never saw the other car.

"A family member has been taken who will be missed and cannot be replaced," said Tijuan Moore's cousin, Brian Graves. "You just pray for all the parties involved because it's going to be a long healing process."

Denece Moore said her husband had been talking on his cell phone with her just before the crash and that he told her he had to get off the phone because the car kept stalling. He said he didn't know what was wrong with it.

"I love you so much," she said he told her. "I'll see you in a minute."

Services for Tijuan Moore are scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Anderson Funeral Home, 1401 Arcade St., St. Paul.

Joy Powell • 952-882-9017