Jury: Wisconsin mom not distracted in crash that killed 3 kids


A jury in western Wisconsin rejected arguments that a mother distracted by Facebook caused the 2013 crash that killed her 11-year-old daughter and two 5-year-old nieces.

After a three day trial, jurors in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, deliberated about two hours before finding Kari Jo Milberg not guilty on all four criminal charges against her, including three negligent homicide counts, FOX 9 says.


Prosecutors argued Milberg had been on her cell phone and was exchanging Facebook messages with a friend on Dec. 12, 2013, when she crashed into a truck, WCCO reports. Milberg's lawyer countered that slippery roads and worn tires led to the crash and called no defense witnesses to the stand, the station says.

Instead, defense attorney Aaron Nelson argued prosecutors had failed to prove their case, saying in his closing statement "The government’s got nothing more than guesses, maybes and speculation,” the Pierce County Herald reports.

An alternate juror who was not part of the deliberations told the Herald she, too, would have found Milberg not guilty, saying "She's suffered enough."

KARE 11 notes that convictions on all four counts (including a misdemeanor reckless driving charge) could have meant a 30 year prison sentence for Milberg.

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