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Teenager Acquitted of Serious Charges

Teenager Acquitted of Serious Charges

Carroll County Times 1/24/2007 Reporter Ari Natter 

Judge expresses reasonable doubt in case stemming from fatal 2005 accident charged with killing a 15 year-old girl in a March 15, 2005 automobile accident was acquitted of all serious charges Tuesday. 

“Based upon the evidence in this case… I find after considerable thought and analysis I have reasonable doubt,” Carroll County Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway told a packed courtroom. 

Galloway found Corry Lee Olson, 19, guilty of traffic offenses -speeding, failure to drive right of center and a license violation and ordered him to pay up to a $500.00 fine for each charge plus court costs. Olson, was found not guilty of six charges, including negligent manslaughter, DUI homicide, driving under the influence of marijuana and reckless driving. 

Family members of crash victim Sarah'”Tricia” Phillips cried as Galloway read the verdict, and some left the courtroom shouting. A prosecutor and witnesses alleged that Olson, who was 17 at the time of the accident, had been drinking and smoking marijuana hours before crashing his 1996 Ford Contour into a tree on Springdale Road. Sarah, who was the front seat passenger at the time, was killed in the crash, and three others, including, Olson, were injured. 

Galloway also said testimony by medical experts, including state chief toxicologist Barry Levine, estimated Olson’s blood alcohol content to be 0.05 at the time of the accident, below the legal limit of 0.08. Deputy State’s Attorney David Daggett, said that while he disagreed with Galloway’s findings, he wasn’t disappointed. 
“I don’t get disappointed for myself,” he said. “I feel bad for the families involved, for the family of Ms. Phillips.” 

Olson’s attorney, Leonard Shaprio, speaking outside the Courthouse, said Galloway arrived at the right decision. “There just wasn’t sufficient evidence in this case”, Shapiro said. “This is just one of those awful cases where it’s a bad accident with tragic consequences”.