A Texas woman accused of causing a serious crash in downtown Davenport that left one woman dead earlier this year will soon learn her fate.
In court documents filed Monday, Chief District Judge Marlita Greve said she will render a verdict in the case of Lauria Lee Kelly, 58, of Alvarado, on Friday in Scott County District Court.
Kelly is charged with homicide by vehicle-reckless driving in the death of Cynthia Elaine Jones, 53, of Davenport. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.
During a bench trial Oct. 25, Assistant Scott County Attorney Kimberly Shepherd called six witnesses who testified about the deadly crash on Jan. 30.
Police say Kelly was driving her blue 2005 Dodge truck east on 2nd Street at a high rate of speed just before 6 p.m. and struck the rear of a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo that was stopped at the red light at 2nd and Brady streets.
The force of the impact caused fatal injuries to Jones.
The driver of the Buick, Jessica Russell, was seven months pregnant at the time of the crash and had to be extricated from her vehicle. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was monitored because she was having contractions.
Russell testified at Kelly's bench trial that she suffered whiplash and was "very worked up emotionally" but was OK. Her unborn son also was OK, she said.
Cpl. Kris Mayer, a crash scene investigator for the Davenport Police Department, testified that while he could not determine exactly how fast Kelly was driving, he estimated that she was driving at "interstate speeds."
The speed limit downtown is 25 mph.
Mike Priester, a concrete driver, testified that he was driving east on 2nd Street between 5:30 and 6 p.m. that night, headed toward the post office, when he heard what sounded like a tornado siren "for a really long time."
He said that he cracked his window and realized that it was a car horn that sounded like it was stuck and that the sound appeared to be coming from a Dodge Ram truck.
Priester said he pulled into the post office parking lot and the truck pulled in behind him. He then jumped out of his truck and walked toward the Dodge Ram.
"I noticed there was a pile of clothes on the passenger side, Texas license plates, kind of threw me off," Priester said at trial. "Then the lady looked at me and she goes ‘King Jesus, I salute you.'"
Kelly was found competent to stand trial earlier this year.
In a brief filed early last month, defense attorney Harlan Giese Jr. said that Kelly at the time of the crash suffered from such a diseased or deranged condition of the mind that she should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.