Despite the grief caused for many over the Toyota recalls, one man is jumping for joy. Koua Fong Lee of St. Paul, Minnesota was granted a new trial after having spent 2 1/2 years behind bars for a fatal crash back in 2006 that killed three people. The prosecutor however, said that there would not be one, effectively making Mr. Lee a free man.
Mr. Lee has one thing planned for his new-found freedom; he wishes to get to know his children better, particularly the youngest two, aged 3 and 2, whom he barely knows given the timing of his incarceration.
Lee was convicted of vehicular homicide after his late model Camry slammed into an Oldsmobile stopped at a red light, after exiting a freeway ramp between 70 and 90 mph. At the time of the trial, Lee, plead in front of the court that he was trying to brake but to no avail, and the presiding judge slammed with a maximum 8 year sentence.
The case received a fresh look after Toyota acknowledged issues with unintended acceleration in newer-model Toyota”s, despite the fact that Lee”s car had not been recalled.
During the four days of testimony this week, Lee”s attorneys never proved that his car had sudden acceleration problems, but they did argue that evidence backed up his account that he was trying to brake, and that his attorney did a poor job. They were also able to secure a number of people to testify that they experienced similar problems in the same car.
– By: Stephen Calogera