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Judge recuses himself in deadly crash retrial

A Montgomery County judge recused himself before hearing arguments on two motions related to a deadly crash in 2012.

Kelli Smith was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the crash that killed Thomas Sullivan. An appeals court overturned the conviction in December 2015, granting Smith a retrial. The date for the retrial has not been set. There will need to be a new judge on the case before the retrial can begin.

While police claim Smith was drunk at the time of the crash, Smith says she had been given a date rape drug earlier that day, and was still under its effects when the crash happened. Smith also claims she was raped after being given that drug.

Smith’s attorney, Jennifer Bukowsky, has filed two motions, arguments for which Judge Wesley Dalton will hear today. One seeks a change of judge; the other seeks a change of venue.

Bukowsky claims during Smith’s first trial, the judge allowed more than half of the prosecution’s motions and objections, while rejecting many of Bukowsky’s. She also claims that more than two-thirds of the jury pool either knew the prosecuting team, or worked at the crash scene in 2011.

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