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Trial of of woman charged in fatal wreck expected to conclude Wednesday

Posted: August 14, 2013 - 11:16am  |  Updated: August 14, 2013 - 11:29am
Kristine Marie Heath, 37, listens as defense attorney Pete Theodocian asks a question during her trial for vehicular homicide.  Photo By Jim Blaylock
Photo By Jim Blaylock
Kristine Marie Heath, 37, listens as defense attorney Pete Theodocian asks a question during her trial for vehicular homicide.

 

A Columbia County jury is expected to consider charges Wednesday against an Augusta woman charged in connection to a fatal 2011 wreck.

Prosecutors closed their case against Kristine Marie Heath, 37, early Wednesday. Heath testified on her own behalf before testimony concluded Wednesday morning.

The jury was chosen Monday and opening statements and testimony began Tuesday morning at the courthouse in Evans.

Heath, of Dartmouth Court, was with vehicular homicide, six counts of serious injury by vehicle, open container and failing to stop at a stop sign.

The collision occurred at about 9 p.m. on June 17, 2011, when the Ford Explorer Heath was driving ran a stop sign at the intersection with Washington Road and was hit by a Jeep Cherokee driven by Angel Herrin, of Augusta.

“I knew it would be there at some point,” Heath said, adding she wasn’t familiar with the curvy rural road. “I wasn’t expecting the sign. ... I didn’t see it.”

Morgan Renew, 18, of Barnwell, S.C., was a backseat passenger and was partially ejected from a window. She died from her injuries.

Heath admitted to deputies that she’d drank less than two beers. Her attorney, Pete Theodocion, argued that Heath wasn’t impaired and that the wreck was caused by her not stopping at the stop sign.

Heath denied being impaired by alcohol at the time of the wreck.

“No doubt whatsoever, I was not,” Heath testified Wednesday morning. “I thought I was very much in control.”

Heath’s attorney, Pete Theodocion said the jury should consider second degree vehicular homicide because Renew’s death occurred as the result of heath running the stop sign, not driving under the influence.

Attorneys are expected to present closing arguments at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. The jury will then begin deliberating the case.

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