Judge finds Abby Michaels not guilty on all counts for wrong-way crash that killed 3 in 2019

DAYTON — A Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge has reached a decision in the trial of a woman who killed three members of a Mason family after driving the wrong way on Interstate 75 on St. Patrick’s Day 2019.

After listening to four days worth of testimony and arguments, Judge Steven Dankof ruled that Abby Michaels, 25, was not guilty of the six counts of murder and three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide she was facing.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Abby Michaels trial ends with closing arguments; Verdict could come Friday

In his written decision filed Friday afternoon, Dankof wrote that he found Micahels’ ex-husband’s, Kyle Pastorelle, testimony “untrue and unworthy of belief” and that Michaels’ medical history showed that she “likely was not ‘knowingly’ or ‘recklessly’ operating her car.’”

“In short, the State has failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the essential element or ‘knowing’ regarding the murder counts and the essential element of ‘reckless’ as to the aggravated vehicular homicide counts,” Dankof wrote.

In a statement released after the verdict was filed, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Prosecutors Office said they believed their office provided sufficient evidence to prove Michaels’ guilt during the trial.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Abby Michaels Trial: Prosecutors rest case on Day 2 of wrong-way crash trial

“The investigating law enforcement agency, Moraine Police Department, and we firmly believe there was sufficient evidence to prove Abby Michael’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and as such we are shocked and disappointed with Judge Dankof’s ruling today. We will continue to fight for justice for every victim in Montgomery County. Our continued thoughts and prayers are with the Thompson family during this difficult time,” the statement read.

News Center 7 was in court for the entirety of Michaels’ trial this week where she appeared engaged with her own defense, often talking with her lawyers during the four days of trial. She was also overcome with emotion several times during the proceedings.

>> RELATED: Abby Michaels Trial: Defense blames medical condition for wrong-way crash that killed 3

Michaels has been in the Montgomery County Jail for more than four years after a brief hospital stay following the crash.

Michaels used an emergency turnaround in Moraine to cross from the northbound lanes of I-75 to the southbound side. She then drove the wrong way in the center lane and collided head-on with a vehicle carrying three members of a Mason family. Timmy Thompson, Karen Thompson, and their 10-year-old daughter Tessa all died in the crash.

Prosecutors told the judge she was suicidal, upset about her marriage ending, and called and texted her estranged husband that doing this was her plan.

>> RELATED: Abby Michaels Trial: Psychiatrist says seizures, childhood trauma were factors night of deadly crash

Michaels’ lawyers said she was actually having a psychogenic seizure, a condition she’s had for several years. They told the judge she was not at all in charge of her emotions and her movements and could not be held responsible for an act she did not knowingly commit.

Online jail records indicate that Michaels has been release from the Montgomery County Jail.