Trial for woman accused of killing teens with SUV



SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon prosecutor has told jurors in the trial of a woman accused of killing two teens and injuring another with her sport utility vehicle in September 2010 that the woman was under the influence of three drugs.

Sophia Downing is on trial in Marion County Circuit Court on two counts of first-degree manslaughter and additional counts of second-degree assault, DUI and reckless endangerment. The trial began Thursday.

The Statesman Journal reports ( ) that Deputy District Attorney Melissa Wakeman said the 31-year-old defendant was under the influence of drugs including a muscle relaxant and insomnia medication. The prosecutor says Downing appeared to witnesses to be nonchalant.

Defense lawyer Tom Sermak said the drugs found in Downing’s system were prescribed to her and did not contribute to the fatal crash. He said his client was shocked by what happened.

Killed were Brittney Green and Francisco Cervantes. Jorge Echeverria was critically injured.


Information from: Statesman Journal,