Driver in fatal Conroe wreck may not face charges

December 2, 2010 8:33:30 PM PST
More than a year ago, three people were killed in a car crash. To this day, the driver charged with manslaughter hasn't faced a jury and the victims' family wants to know why.

It's been 14 months since a crash killed Steve Rector, Felicia Hicks and Freedom Fitch. Their family still has a lot of questions about what happened, and now, they have concerns that no one will be held accountable.

It is hard to miss the three white crosses at the intersection of FM 1314 and 336 in Conroe, and Pamela Baird doesn't want you to.

"I decorate the crosses for each season," she said.

Soon there will be Christmas wreaths. They are memorials to her brother, Rector, his step daughter, Hicks, and her boyfriend, Fitch. All of them died as the result of an accident at that intersection more than a year ago.

Baird remembers it vividly.

"October 16, the day before my birthday," she said.

She was hoping by now, the teen charged with manslaughter would have faced a jury.

"We just want justice -- that's all we're asking for is justice," Baird said.

Instead, she says she got news from the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office that Casey McKinley may have had a heart condition that caused him to black out and cause the accident. She fears criminal charges will be dropped.

Baird is still grieving.

"We miss him a lot," she said.

And she is skeptical.

"I don't buy that story," she said. "Why was he allowed to drive if he's had seizures and had a heart condition?"

Though the case hasn't been presented to a grand jury, the DA's office tells us it is "continuing both the prosecution and investigation of the facts."

In a statement, the prosecutor continued, "This case requires that reckless conduct be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and it is a misconception to believe that all crashes involve criminal conduct," Warren Diepraam, Vehicular Crimes Section Chief with Montgomery County District Attorney's Office said in a prepared statement.

McKinley's attorney, Tay Bonds, won't reveal any medical conditions. He does call the accident "an extreme tragedy but not a criminal offense."

"Reckless, silliness on his part," Baird said.

That's what Baird thinks happened, and she and her family continue to hope for a day in court.

"I would have never thought this would have gone on a year and two months. Never. You're talking about three lives here," she said.

McKinley is out on bond. His attorney says he is working and going to college and wakes up every day and thinks about what he did.

The next hearing is scheduled on December 13 at the Conroe court house.

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Read the full statement from the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office below:

The district attorney's office is continuing both the prosecution and investigation of the facts of this case with no ultimate decision being made. It is the role of a prosecutor to ensure that justice is done in both punishing the guilty and freeing the innocent. This case requires that reckless conduct be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and it is a misconception to believe that all crashes involve criminal conduct. That is the purpose of this investigation, to determine the facts.

The disposition of this case will be based on the facts and evidence after consulting with police, our own experts, the victim's families, and others. We have been informed and will continue to inform the victims' families of developments as it is our duty. If they have questions, concerns, or comments, we will continue to be available for them. While we believe in a free media and public access to government, it is not appropriate to debate the merits of a pending case at this time. All facts from both sides, including any "theories," will be presented to an impartial group of citizens for a decision of the case.


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