Two college girls in rollover accident. One dead, other charged with manslaughter. Not guilty.
It was the early morning hours and two college girls were winding down after a night with friends. They were driving on I-435 and lost control of the vehicle, hit a bridge barrier, and rolled onto the passenger side. One young lady was partially ejected through the passenger door window and was killed. The other ended up in the back of the SUV.
The young lady in the back was assumed to be the driver and was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Johnson County District Court. At the hospital a blood test showed her alcohol content to be nearly twice the legal limit. She was looking at going to prison. Experienced DUI defense attorney Brian Leininger was brought as co-counsel for the defense. The Kansas Highway Patrol conducted a months-long investigation and accident reconstruction and concluded client was the driver. The defense team hired expert witnesses, including a PhD engineer and a retired police accident reconstructionist who were sure deceased young woman was the driver.
The case went to a week-long trial which was heated and contentious. After a few hours of deliberation the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.