ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WMAR) -
A Springdale woman has been found not guilty on a vehicular manslaughter charge related to a deadly two-car crash in April 2011.
A Howard County jury found Tristain Rayshon Johnson, 27, was found not guilty of vehicular manslaughter, speeding and reckless endangerment, but found her guilty of negligent driving in the accident that caused the death of Cornell Gray, Jr., 19, of Odenton.
According to police, Gray was attempting to make a left turn from a parking lot onto southbound Route 1, just north of Mission Road when his car was struck by Johnson's traveling northbound on Route 1.
During the trial, investigators reported downloading crash data from a crash recorder on Johnson's Camaro. At about 2.5 seconds before impact, the data revealed that the Camaro was traveling 80 miles per hour. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 50.
During closing arguments, Johnson's defense attorney cast doubt on the accident information technology and formulations used to derive the speed of his client's car.
"Do not trust the science; it's mad science," stated J. Wyndal Gordon. Howard County Assistant State's Attorney Danielle Duclaux told the jury during her closing that Johnson "drove her vehicle in a grossly negligent manner." "Cornell Gray had no reason to anticipate that a vehicle was traveling 80 miles per hour (toward him) when he was making his turn," she stated.
Negligent driving is a misdemeanor, subject to a fine of $500. Johnson is set to be sentenced on March 15.