The trial for a woman charged with multiple counts of murder in wrong-way crash on Interstate 75 that killed a Warren County family of three on St. Patrick’s Day more than three years ago was delayed after it was scheduled to start earlier this week.
Abby Michaels, 24, was set to go on trial Monday for six counts each of murder and aggravated vehicular assault as well as one count of operating a vehicle under the influence, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.
However, late last week the trial was continued for at least the second time.
Michaels’ defense requested the continuance in order to review medical records by an expert epileptologist and due to the expert’s advice to consult a psychogenic seizure expert, Judge Steven K. Dankof wrote in an order allowing the trial to be rescheduled. An epileptologist specializes in epilepsy care.
“The state opposes the requested continuance, primarily owing to the wishes of the decedents’ family – a reason with which the Court is not unsympathetic,” he wrote. “However, in order to ensure Ms. Michaels receives actual, authentic due process, this Court finds defense counsel’s argument in favor of the continuance persuasive and, therefore, the court hereby continues trial of this matter until a subsequent date as set forth below.”
Dankof ruled the new trial date will be set after Oct. 24, giving both the defense and prosecution time to find their respective psychogenic seizure expert.
Michaels’ trial was previously scheduled for Feb. 28 and Aug. 1 of this year before it was scheduled to start this past Monday, according to records.
Michaels is accused of entering I-75 South in a Kia from an emergency turn around in the median and driving into an oncoming Toyota Camry occupied by a Mason family. Timmy and Karen Thompson and their 10-year-old daughter Tessa were killed in the crash.
Michaels was reportedly at a Miamisburg bar that night and had a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit, but Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck previously said intoxication was not a contributing factor in the crash.
“This was not an accident. This defendant was upset and decided to take the action that she did,” Heck said during a press conference following Michaels’ indictment in July 2019. “Evidence shows this defendant knew what she was doing and what she wanted to accomplish.”
In June 2021 Dankof ruled Michaels’ blood-alcohol results were not admissible court, saying a former Moraine police officer made false statements in an affidavit requesting Kettering Municipal Court Judge Steven Long to sign a warrant for the search and blood test.
“The balance of Officer Harrison’s statements in the affidavit are patently false, utterly misleading, and this court finds, as a matter of fact, that they were made with a complete disregard for the truth and for the purpose of misleading Judge Long into signing the warrant,” Dankof wrote.
He also claimed the results were not reliable and there were irregularities in the way the sample was collected and handled before testing, according to court records.
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