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Jury: Woman who fumbled for cellphone cleared in fatal Minn. interstate crash

Jury: Woman who fumbled for cellphone cleared in fatal Minn. interstate crash

Destiny Xiong Courtesy of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office ST. PAUL—A Hudson, Wis., woman was careless when she fumbled for her cellphone and wound up crashing into a line of cars on Interstate 35W in New Brighton — resulting in a fatality and a serious injury. But she not grossly negligent, according to a Ramsey County District Court Jury.

Prosecutors had to prove gross negligence in their case against Destiny Xiong, who hit Brea Miller and Michael Bain’s Honda Fit as it sat stopped in traffic on the afternoon of May 1, 2016. Miller died and Bain, her fiance, was seriously injured.

After less than an hour of deliberations Tuesday morning, the jury found Xiong not guilty of the most serious counts: criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm.

She was found guilty of careless driving, a misdemeanor.

Xiong, 36, wiped away tears and hugged her defense attorneys after the verdicts were read.

Her relief stood in contrast to the reaction from the victims’ families, some of whom sobbed and refused to stand for jury members as they exited the courtroom until a legal advocate urged them to do so."It was a just verdict," Xiong’s defense attorney, Earl Gray, […]

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