Driver involved in St. Patrick’s Day triple fatal crash waives right to jury trial; 4 counts dropped

The trial for the driver charged in a triple fatal wrong-way crash on St. Patrick’s Day in 2019 is set to begin Monday, but it will go on without a jury.

Abby Michaels, 25, was set to appear for a jury trial on Monday, but News Center 7 learned Friday that Michaels’ attorneys filed paperwork to waive her right to a jury trial. She will instead have a bench trial, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

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Court records unsealed Friday afternoon also show that Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Dankof granted Michaels’ motion to drop four counts she was facing, including three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of OVI.

Michaels is now facing six counts of murder and three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide in connection to the crash that killed three members of a Mason family.

Timmy Thompson, 51, Karen Thompson, 50, and their daughter, Tessa Thompson, 10, were killed in the crash on March 17.

Police said Michaels was driving north in the southbound lanes on I-75 when she hit a Camry carrying the Mason family.

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In June 2021, Dankof ruled that the blood alcohol findings from Michaels cannot be used in the prosecution of the case.

In his ruling, Dankof said a Moraine police officer lied in statements on court records that were used to get a warrant for a blood sample from Michaels while she was in the hospital. The officer, Steven Harrison, was one of officers sent to the scene after the 911 calls came in.

Court records showed Harrison resigned from the Moraine Police Department “under allegations of falsification and destruction of evidence.”

In late May, Michaels’ withdrew her Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity plea, according to court records.

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