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Accused teen sues dead woman’s estate

Winter claims other driver, construction firm were negligent

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Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 2:00 am

In an unusual legal maneuver, Justine Winter — the Evergreen teenager charged with deliberate homicide in the traffic deaths of Erin Thompson and her 13-year-old son — has sued Thompson’s estate and the construction company that built the U.S. 93 overpass at Church Drive where the accident occurred.

Winter, 17, with her father, Randy Winter, filed the lawsuit in Flathead County District Court July 15 against Knife River Corp., Western Traffic Control Inc., Mountain West Holding Co. and the estate of Erin Thompson. The complaint lists Thompson’s husband, Jason Thompson, as personal representative of the estate.

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          Welcome to the discussion.

          99 comments:

          • Dstro posted at 11:14 am on Thu, Aug 19, 2010.

            Dstro Posts: 13

            I have been reading the comments here and it is sad to read how there are some people in this valley that have such so much anger and hatred toward this family, attorneys i,etc in general and have no compassion in their heart for what has happened. to both families. This was a tragedy for all the people involved.

             
          • MtRush posted at 1:51 am on Thu, Aug 19, 2010.

            MtRush Posts: 1

            Justicia, thank you for your compassion.
            First I must express my sorrow for the loss of Erin her unborn child and Caden, and the grief of their family.
            To those that have already convicted Justine and her family. I hope you can look at yourself in the mirror everyday as you judge others. This family is no different then yours and to post that they are inferior only shows your lack of compassion. I'm certain none of you or yours could ever make a mistake especially at 16.
            I grew up here and have seen many tragic losses.
            I am very disturbed at the attack on a family that have been a cornerstone in the Valley. The mistakes of children are and have been commonplace for generations, but to totally disparage an entire family for the mistake of one child is wrong.
            I hope you that have judged and convicted by benefit of the news never have to experiance similer circumstance in your lives and wonder what your reation would be?
            Randy you are my friend and I will allways stand with you Justine and your family!

             
          • dln posted at 10:15 pm on Wed, Aug 18, 2010.

            dln Posts: 50

            Shame on you 4 my boys! How old are you? You sound like you are in Jr. High School.

            I am flabbergasted by the comments and behavior that is being exhibited here.

            If any of you (heaven forbid) happened to be in the sitiuation of the Winter's family, would you want to have people saying the same things to your family?

            If your child was in this postiion, I think that you would do everything in your power to protect them. Don't even say no you wouldn't because I don't believe you. You show such emotion of hatred for someone else (and I bet most of you don't know either party) that you would most definately do everything you could to save your own child.

            I don't think that her parents are trying to make light of the situation. If they are being harrassed in the manners we've been told about then of course they are going to do everything they can to protect their daughter and themselves.

            Justicia: I agree with what you are saying and I think that everyone who has said such hateful things here needs to read and really think about what you have said.

            You should all hope and pray that you never have to deal with a tragedy such as this.

            Now I am not saying who caused this accident and who is to blame-cause I don't know all the facts!

            Years ago there was a case of two guys who left a bar drunk, hit a tree and one of the men was killed. The survivor was arrested and charged with the death of his friend. Everyone (law enforcement included) said he was the driver. He denied being the driver. He didn't have a good reputation so of course everyone jumped on the bandwagon and said he was/had to be guilty. In court both sides presented their cases and evidence and guess what the verdict was? Not Guilty.

            My point being is don't be so hasty in your judgement because until all the facts are presented in court YOU don't know the whole truth.


             
          • Justicia posted at 4:44 pm on Wed, Aug 18, 2010.

            Justicia Posts: 1

            I really wonder if this is what Caden and Erin would want after their deaths? Based on the newspaper articles, they were 2 wonderful people that many cared for very much. I doubt that these 2 spiritual giants would be calling for the blood of Justine Winter. The worst case scenario of the incident, assuming she did go into the wrong lane intentionally, is a severely emotionally disturbed girl from many avenues of her life, in a desperate sad moment, attempted to kill herself with the immediate means she had, her car. The results were catastrophic, claiming 2 people's lives, and an unborn child. Although a terrible and sad result, a guilty Justine did not do this out of malice for Erin or Caden, she would have done it in order to escape her own incredible pain that she did not know how to deal with. I believe, that if there is an afterlife, that Caden and Erin are there and that they would look down on earth even at the person whose actions lead to their deaths, with compassion.

            For a moment, assume that Justine is innocent, and this was a terrible accident. Her family is paying tremendous amounts of money to defend her, legal action to sue her further is being threatened, you are under house arrest and are missing out on your high school years, the entire community is mobilized against you, screaming how terrible of a person you are, cursing you, hating you, saying horrible things about you and your family. While you are recovering from horrible injuries that you yourself suffered in the accident as well. What do you do? You take the advice of your legal counsel and defend yourself. Assuming her innocence, who is to pay for her loss? The only way the estate of Erin Thompson would pay any money is if Erin is found to have been responsible for the accident. Just as the only way Justine will pay, in the civil and criminal case, will pay if she is found to be responsible.As far as MDOT, road has already been shown to be filled with mistakes, they will have to rectify that. But the family will have to pay for the legal expenses for defending the suit? Just as Justine will for the defending herself from her own civil suits. The end result, as wrong as the outcomes may end up to be, will be whoever is found responsible will pay. Is this new to anyone? The only people who would hate either side of this is someone who already assumes the guilt of the offending party.

            I cannot speak for Caden and Erin. I only speak from what I hope I would be from a clear perspective looking down at the world after my own death. But there is no compassion. There is no understanding. Making your own judgment on what occurred based on the limited evidence displayed in the media thus far is one thing, it is reasonable human nature to do this. But to project your own emotions on Justine, saying she intentionally killed these to people, saying she doesn't care, saying she is a spoiled little (insert horrible lables), things that you could not possibly know, it is just awful.

            Time and time again on this forum, members of the community and SOME (not all) of the members of the families of Erin and Caden have expressed their opinions of the situation, in terms of Justine should be placed in a car and run into, she should swing, she is an awful murderer that killed in cold blood, saying horrible inhumane things about this girl. And the justification is that Caden and Erin are dead, and you are hurting, so that some how makes it ok to behave this way? And anything said not even in the defense of Justine, but in the defense of a rational conclusion, is shot down immediately, and that person somehow has no idea what they are talking about. How is that a justification to be inhumane. To be irrational. No matter what level of punishment you give Justine, no matter if she is found innocent, no conclusion of the present day is going to bring Caden and Erin back. None of it will even ease your pain. The people that say these awful things, it is not for Caden or Erin, in fact such acts are completely contrary to how the loved ones of Caden and Erin say they lived. It is for yourself. To attempt to make sense out of and ease your own pain.

            The charge is that Justine was distressed about her relationship that "might have been ending" with her boyfriend. So she intentionally ran her car into an oncoming vehicle in an attempt to end her own life, resulting in the deaths of two people. That she knowingly engaged in an act that could likely result in the death of others. However, Justine has now lost her relationship with Ryan, she almost died in a car accident, she has permanent injuries physically and mentally, her family is spending likely hundred's of thousands of dollars in attorney's fees and other fees associated with defending this case that her parents have the burden of, her community hates her, constantly harasses her, calls her a murderer, seeks to cause her any pain they can while remaining safe themselves behind the guise of loss and an abstract archaic view of eye for an eye justice. If her life was bad then, bad enough then to cause her to make an attempt on her own life, why has she not tried to kill herself now?

            Justine is alive, and whether she is found guilty or innocent, and whether that decision is ultimately accurate, she is still alive.And regardless of her guilt or innocence, she will suffer, even without the community members trying to cause her more pain by satiating their own pain with horrible words and actions.


             
          • Joey Boy posted at 5:01 pm on Mon, Aug 16, 2010.

            Joey Boy Posts: 3

            I do not know if there has been a jury selected for this trial, but one of the first questions I would ask of a prespective juror is if they read anything in the Daily Interlake pertaining to this case, and if they ever submitted a comment on the Blog? If the question is yes, "Thank you for your time, but you are excused from Jury Duty!"

             
          • HardNosed posted at 3:22 pm on Mon, Aug 16, 2010.

            HardNosed Posts: 24

            As sad as it is somewhere along the line a defense attorney job went from protecting the civil and human rights of the defendant to get them off at all costs. At the same time, no one wants to take responsibility for their actions anymore either. It was McDonald's fault that I am fat or it's not my fault that I drove intoxicated and killed someone it's theirs for being on the other side of the road. Fact is it is a tragedy that it happen for both sides. Their attorney is doing nothing more then playing a hand to get the daughter off. How are you going to have a jury of unbias people or people that are not enraged at what is going on? It's nothing more then strategy, no matter how immoral or pathetic you may consider it, for their attorney to get the girl off at all costs or have as little as possible happen to her.

             
          • wither posted at 3:21 pm on Mon, Aug 16, 2010.

            wither Posts: 1

            The Daily Interlake reporter staff can do a quick public records search to verify this is not the first ride at the rodeo for the Winters or their attorney in terms of defensive law suits. Just a hint. Consider it a gift....'nuff said.

            These things happen quite a bit. It is often a legal tactic to draw in insurance money or other party's money to pay for a legal defense, and it is usually in the context of contract disputes. BTW, that was another hint at where to look for the Winters' involvement in a defensive lawsuit.

            Justice will be wrought in some form. In the mean time, make sure the girl can never, ever drive in Montana or anywhere else ever again if she is found guilty of negligent or deliberate harm. It is too great a risk to trust her judgment on the road.

             
          • slayer posted at 10:09 am on Mon, Aug 16, 2010.

            slayer Posts: 14

            Here are some facts. Do with them what you will.
            Justine, her Father and her lawyers are being castigated for filing a lawsuit against the Thompson Estate.

            1) Penni Chisholm first wrote to Justine's Lawyers saying that Penni Chislholm who represents Erin Thompson's Estate ([her firm is Chisholm & Chisholm, Columbia Falls) was filing suit against Justine within a day or two. Unlike the lawyer for Caden Odell's Father, she wasn't willing to wait for the Criminal Case to be resolved. She thought it would benefit there case to oppress a young girl who has severe brain damage, severe liver damage, and severe fractures.
            This necessitated Justine to filed first.Why is it considered wrong for her protect her constitutional rights?

            2) Ms. Chisholm has been seen repeatedly at the transfer hearing chatting up Prosecutor Ed Corrigan, laughing and joking with him.

            3) Ms. Chisholm is from Columbia Falls.

            4) Judge Curtis is from Columbia Falls.

            5) Erin Thompson is from Columbia Falls.

            6) Penni Chisholm and Judge Curtis are reportedly involved together in a local charity for children.

            7) Those in charge of the Daily InterLake are friends of the Thompson Family.

            8) The Daily Interlake has allowed its website blogs to be used to harass and threaten Justine, her Family and her Lawyers, even posting a request for retaliation against Justine listing her home telephone number resulting in harassing and threatening telephone calls, as well as unauthorized orders for pizza to be delivered to her home.

            It appears that both muckrakers and grieving friends and family want a "lynching" .
            When was the last lynching in Montana ? .
            I thought our forefathers fought more than one bloody war to free ALL of us from this sort of oppression.
            This is the United States, NOT Nazi Germany !

             
          • justathought posted at 8:43 pm on Mon, Aug 9, 2010.

            justathought Posts: 54

            If you are threatening to kill yourself.... and your weapon is to be your car..... and you choose to hit another car.... while both are traveling.... you had to know there was a driver- at the least. You had to know that you hitting their car at a sufficient enough force to kill yourself would cause great damage to the driver of the other car.
            Even if you changed your mind- you still did it- you still intended it to cause harm- else you would have driven OFF the road.
            So isn't that deliberate?

             
          • Rawhide posted at 11:52 am on Mon, Aug 9, 2010.

            Rawhide Posts: 160

            Make no mistake, this shameful lawsuit is the idea of the defendant's defense attorney in order to make a few extra $$$ off this case. It isn't enough that he is already being paid well by us taxpayers to represent the accused. That's right, some of your taxes pays the public defender's salary (plus expenses). Guess who got that law passed. It's the attorneys who are the scoundrels here! They buy TV comercials telling us to SUE! SUE! SUE!! The insurance business is thriving. You and I have to pay a higher cost in medical care, health insurance, auto insurance, etc. Is it any wonder why our politicians won't rein in the attorneys who file frivolous law suits against all of us, against doctors, hospitals and corporations? It's because our politicians are attorneys and filing civil suits is how they make a living. To our politicians it's called "don't bite the hand that feeds you".

             
          • MontanaTrace posted at 10:44 am on Mon, Aug 9, 2010.

            MontanaTrace Posts: 358

            Original: "Circle K" ??? So, where are you from? Texas?

             
          • Original American posted at 4:00 pm on Sun, Aug 8, 2010.

            Original American Posts: 12

            Oh, one other thing - to all you whiny lawyer haters: if you weren't so pathetic you'd be ridiculous.
            You come to us when you have made a mess out of your life, whether by being a criminal or cheating in business or two-timing your spouse or in some other manner being an irresponsibly sorry excuse for a human being. You beg and plead and cry and pray "Please, help me, I'm in real trouble, I'm going to jail or losing my house sob sob sob....my kids sob sob sob....my job sob sob sob...."
            So we utilize the skills we acquired in expensive law schools, seminars, training, internship over 20 years in getting you the best deal we can, then you snivel about paying your bill because "it's outrageous".
            Tell you what - next time you screw up which you inevitably will, DON"T come to me or any other lawyer. Go chat with your plumber or a fireman or the guy at the Circle K, see how well that works for ya.

             
          • Original American posted at 3:48 pm on Sun, Aug 8, 2010.

            Original American Posts: 12

            Dear Heart and all the other hysterical mommies venting their anger in a misplaced venue:
            Where did I imply or suggest that I was condoning Winter's conduct? Nowhere.
            The fact that you are a mommy is irrelevant, it gives you no additional information or insight into this or any other situtation. In fact, it renders you intellectually handicapped because of the intensity of your emotional reactions.
            My entire point was this - this is SEPARATE and DISTINCT from the criminal proceeding. Here in America, we have civil courts to sort out matters of contract, tort and liability. If in fact it is shown that there were no barriers or lane markers or other demarcations in the construction zone, then it will be up to a jury to decide if this was an act of negligence and by whom. If so decided, it will then be a matter of apportioning the degree to which this negligence was a contributory factor. That's how our legal system works. If you don't like it, I hear France is lovely.

             
          • highskoolgirl posted at 6:43 pm on Sat, Aug 7, 2010.

            highskoolgirl Posts: 3

            @dawnie_db, if you go to her facebook page, im PREETY SURE YOU WOULD BE DISGUSTED! i would tell you the direct quotes coming from this girls mouth but its way too horrible!!

             
          • LukeyWes posted at 9:25 am on Sat, Aug 7, 2010.

            LukeyWes Posts: 1

            Should make for some interesting depositions.

             
          • dawnie_db posted at 10:37 pm on Fri, Aug 6, 2010.

            dawnie_db Posts: 2

            @Jaden1981: Wait. I'm not sure I understand...the idiot whose post was deleted (thank you, Moderator) was or was NOT trying to encourage harassment of the Winter family?

             
          • slayer posted at 6:41 pm on Fri, Aug 6, 2010.

            slayer Posts: 14

            After reading these comments I can't believe you people didn't show up at the trial with pitch forks and torches to advise the judge to forget the trial and just hang Justine.
            I guess the fact that a person is innocent until proven guilty is a thing of the past.
            People should keep an open mind until all the facts have been presented and the judge has made her rulings .

             
          • Jaden1981 posted at 9:33 pm on Thu, Aug 5, 2010.

            Jaden1981 Posts: 3

            @dawnie_db, I dont quite think you understand what that person was doing...

            News of this reached the internet, by way of major news networks carrying it. The Internet, or at least the people who view themselves as the scum and villainy, view what the father and daughter are doing as "wrong" and are going around to a number of sites requesting what is know as a "Raid".

            Raid's consist of harassing the people involved in the bad act until such a time as either attention is drawn elsewhere or the people involved stop being offensive to these people.

            I had to ask around to find what they ment, just figured I would pass it along.

             
          • MrMark posted at 9:01 pm on Thu, Aug 5, 2010.

            MrMark Posts: 359

            Ahh, what a great judicial system we have! Pathetic!!

             
          • dawnie_db posted at 8:41 pm on Thu, Aug 5, 2010.

            dawnie_db Posts: 2

            I must say there can only be one reasonable explanation for this move and it was stated very clearly by TonyStark. They are trying to get the insurance company to pony up.

            It's so sad when such an emotional case has to drag two broken families through the mud in order to get all the insurance and monetary damages out of the way. I don't know the Winter family, but I bet they're enjoying this process just as much as the Thompson family - that is, not one bit. That being said, I agree it's an absolutely crummy move on their part in a seemingly desperate effort to resolve the issue.

            On a separate note, posting a direct link to Justine's Facebook and her family's phone number is childish bullying. Both items are public knowledge, but you're simply encouraging harassment by publishing it in this forum. Shame on you.

             
          • Jaden1981 posted at 8:25 pm on Thu, Aug 5, 2010.

            Jaden1981 Posts: 3

            I think it is truly pathetic that her father has filed this lawsuit. It shows how low parents will sink to try and save their offspring's behinds and to try and save their financial behinds. Any judge should see this case for what it is, an attempt to place blame everywhere but on his daughter and to get someone else to pay all the bills he's going to have because his daughter attempted suicide and killed 3 others in the process of failing her attempt.

            We've all driven that road when it was under construction and we didnt have any problems with it. Even my half blind grandmother could have driven that road and known where her lane was and where the other persons lane started.

            I hope that the counter-suits bankrupt the Winter family and that Justine ends up in prison for a long time (Instead of posting to her myspace and facebook how much fun shes having with her friends while claiming she has so much mental stress over murdering 3 people)

             
          • Ride the Pow posted at 3:00 pm on Thu, Aug 5, 2010.

            Ride the Pow Posts: 6

            This doesn't surprise me at all, neither do the recent #'s on high school drop outs in our community. The parents don't take responsibility for their kid's actions, the kids aren't held accountable, the schools aren't accountable, everyone blames someone else for their problems.
            Everyone is a victim even when they murder innocent people. It wasn't her fault, she had a tough home life, kids picked on her, her boyfriend was mean etc...
            We have told this generation that there are no winners and losers in life, there is no right and wrong, there are no consequqences, morality to generation Y is maleable and the truth isn't important, the only thing that matters is not hurting people's feelings staying politically correct.

             
          • dln posted at 9:49 am on Thu, Aug 5, 2010.

            dln Posts: 50

            WOW! How terribly sad. That is what comes to mind when I read these opinions. Tragic-for all involved. My condolences to all parties in this horrific nightmare.

            First I want to say that I am not defending the Winter's family. What I am defending is the justice system.

            I believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That we have the right to a fair and impartial jury/trial.

            Yes, there times when the justice system has broken down and failed by allowing a criminal to go free, but also when an innocent person is incarcerated. But for the majority of cases, the system works well and the correct verdict is rendered.

            Anyone can accuse anyone of anything at anytime. How can we be sure (unless the case has gone to court) of what is reported is fact? Not always are all the facts revealed to the news before a trial. I believe that if you convict and sentence someone in the gossip pool, then you are contributing to breaking down the legal process and thus endangering everyone's rights-yours included.

            I also believe that it is very easy to spout off the to the Winters family what they should do and what should happen to their daugher and what you may think of them, especially behind the anonymity of a screen name . But I also believe that if the shoe was on the foot of any of these people, that they would be doing everything that they could that was allowed by law to protect their loved one.

            I say, let's wait and see what happens in court and let the justice system do it's job.

            Anyway, this is just my opinion.

             
          • highskoolgirl posted at 5:20 pm on Wed, Aug 4, 2010.

            highskoolgirl Posts: 3

            i completly agree with LadyGriz85. I was totally stunned when i picked up the paper and read this. this is the most pathetic case. is she really stooping this low to try to get out of crap? i was soo furious when i read " Winter alleges that Thompson, of Columbia Falls, negligently operated her vehicle in a manner that caused it to collide with Winter’s vehicle" are you kidding me? We all read the text! "She was going 85mph and didnt hit the break til the LAST sec." This shouldnt have even made it to the court. It said the she "sufferd mental pain and suffering and the loss of capacity to enjoy life." to me, that is crap. I go to school with justine, i see her in the halls, my lunch table is even right next to hers! She didnt look like anything wrong. yeah i didn t see how her life was at home but at school, she was a 'normal' teenager acting like nothing ever happend. like she didn t just try to kill her self and ended up killing 3 inicent people! Just like Montanamom07 said! yes go look at her facebook page! posting pictures, laughing, having a grand ol time in high school. Does that sound like someone who is suffering from the loss of capacity to enjoy life. in my eyes HELL NO.

             
          • faithful reader posted at 11:15 am on Wed, Aug 4, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            I don't know why that posted twice. Anyway, 200+ reader comments, vilifying this lawsuit.

             
          • MontanaMom07 posted at 10:56 am on Wed, Aug 4, 2010.

            MontanaMom07 Posts: 10

            Here is a question for all those who are taking the Winters Family side.....tell us how Mrs. Thompson was driving her vehicle negligently that caused the accident????

             
          • raynaz posted at 9:38 am on Wed, Aug 4, 2010.

            raynaz Posts: 1

            It seems to me that the judge would throw this "case" out of court so fast, that the spectators would get pneumonia from the breeze.

             
          • faithful reader posted at 9:23 am on Wed, Aug 4, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            I see this was picked up yesterday by a national news outlet where readers pretty much pilloried the Winter family.

             
          • firebeam posted at 11:13 pm on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            firebeam Posts: 106

            Let me venture a guess here that the countersuit is at least partially designed to achieve a change of venue, because this case is so close to the hearts and pain of the community. Legal wrangling is like playing chess with an experienced opponent.

             
          • MTlover2 posted at 8:55 pm on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            MTlover2 Posts: 19

            LadyGriz85 I could not have said it better. Randy....you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Grow up and be a PARENT! Show your daughter right from wrong, don't just ignor her selfish ignorant tyrants and then make someone ELSE responsible for HER actions. You will always love her because she is your daughter, but hold her responsibe for her actions. We used to be neighbors Randy, and I never in a million years thought you would be this kind of person. You defend our country, you serve in the reserves, yet you turn your back on doing the right thing when it comes to your own family. Shame on you!

             
          • LadyGriz85 posted at 8:08 pm on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            LadyGriz85 Posts: 5

            This is the most pathetic case I have ever heard! Shame on the Winter family for supporting this type of behavior. Ms. Winters and her family are psychologically messed up and need intense therapy. It is obvious that she was intentionally trying to kill herself and the other victims in the car (going 85 in a 35 mph zone and not applying the break until the airbags went off.) I am glad she survived and has the cognitive ability to understand what she did is evil and low. I hope she rots in jail for the rest of her life.

            GROW UP WINTER FAMILY AND TAKE SOME RESPONIBLITY FOR YOUR DAUGHTER ACTIONS. Your daughter is pathetic and I hope she suffers for the rest of her life.

             
          • Flathead Resident posted at 6:01 pm on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            Flathead Resident Posts: 107

            Montana_Tom, I agree that this is for opinions, but when you state you want to be on this jury because you have already made your mind up, that is possibly beyond appropriate. I wish someone would have said they wanted to be on the jury to hear all the facts to make an educated and informed decision. For the second time, I must agree with outdoorlover, I also would not want to be in front of a jury of my peers in this county if this really is how people think these days.

             
          • Montana_Tom posted at 5:26 pm on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            Montana_Tom Posts: 60

            This discussion is to share opinions and that's what we are doing! Our opinions are from what we've read, heard, and that some even "know!" And I'm sure we all believe in innocent until proven guilty, and maybe there is much more to the story than what we've been told! We all know that by the time any story gets around it's been so blown out of proportion that reality is lost! It's a tragic story for everyone involved and hopefully there will be a fair trial to determine what really happened and who really was responsible! It's just unfortunate that now it's all about the $$ and politics will play more of a role in trial than the facts will!

             
          • outdoor lover posted at 4:52 pm on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            outdoor lover Posts: 121

            What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? I NEVER want to be in a situation where I have a jury of peers in this county, I would immediately ask for a change of venue! I would print all of these comments out as proof of the stong convictions and the individuals who hope they are on this jury and already have their mind made up!

             
          • Just Mom posted at 2:42 pm on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            Just Mom Posts: 43

            @His heart, thanks for a great comment....You said it very well

             
          • His heart posted at 8:12 am on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            His heart Posts: 3

            Dear Original America, I mean no disrespect to you but does this mean because she was going 85mph and texting her boyfriend that she was going to kill herself that we just dismiss this kind of conduct?
            I don't think so! okay maybe the county Road construction should be sued, and we all know it is just a ploy by the Fathers Insurance company, because it was an deliberate act. they are probably refusing to pay all the parties for their loss, and cover the winters court cost. that is how Insurance companies play.

            you will find out that this is all a ploy to try to get his Insurance company to cover Justine's court cost, medical bills, and the liability on the victims side too. I am sure Randy is aware he will loose this Lawsuit, but he is probably being pushed by his insurance and greedy Lawyers. they all want their Money, and it has to come from some where!

            so please don't tell me what she did was okay, and that we should just turn a blind eye for her actions. what is wrong is wrong. she should be held accountable for actions she chose to take. welcome to the world of accountability. that is the problem with this world no one holds their children accountable for their actions. we cottle them too much. I am a parent, and I can tell you this I would do anything to protect my child from harm, but if they deliberately decided to make a choice that causes the fate of others, then I would definatly hold them accountable for that behavior. and I would hope the Court system would uphold justice and make an example of the situation. Preventing others who think driving a car into another car just because life does not go the way they think it should. it is Sad!

            in other words leave the poor family's alone that have suffered a great tragic loss. they should be off limits. if anyone should be suing it should be the family members of Caden and Erin. and to my knowledge it is not too late to do so!

             
          • dablues posted at 1:14 am on Tue, Aug 3, 2010.

            dablues Posts: 73

            I am stunned. Tell me this isn't happening.

             
          • Original American posted at 11:22 pm on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            Original American Posts: 12

            Yeah truly, I hope I'm never before a Flathead County jury if it is full of the same morons posting here calling for blood.
            The Thompson deaths were tragic and the girl's guilt will be decided later in a CRIMINAL proceeding.
            However, if the facts are that there were no lane markers or dividers or other form of demarcation, then there appears to be a legitimate basis for a CIVIL action based upon the negligence of the contractor(s) being a contributory cause of the collision or its severity.
            A lot of our neighbors wear their ignorance like a badge of honor when their proper course of action is to shut up and hide it.

             
          • His heart posted at 9:35 pm on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            His heart Posts: 3

            I have been watching this case since it started, and I agree that Justine Winters should be Tried as an adult. It just saddens me that they have went to this extent to try and clear their Daughter of her actions. I realize they are just reaching for straws and avenues to get her out of the situation she is in. it is not right! that poor Family that lost their loved ones have been through enough.

            the Sad thing about this is the husband of Erin and her unborn child chose not to push charges! That is what I call Compassion. it has to be just killing him to have to keep going through this nightmare over and over. I can tell you if it was my child or my spouse that Died in the hands of a negligent driver. I just don't know if I could turn my cheek the other way. It is heart breaking, this Lawsuit is absolutely wrong, unethical and shameful.

            Regardless the outcome, Justine will have to live with this on her conscience for the rest of her life. and God will have his judgment on her in time. but for now we must try to trust the Court system and allow them to do their jobs. And trust that the judge has common sense to see how Redundant this Law suit is!

            for now we need to all be compassionate to the Family who lost loved ones, for they surely did not deserve to have their hearts ripped out and dragged through the Dirt for their loss. those two Fathers who lost their loved ones need our love and prayers. they are being punished for a wrong that was not theirs.

            You will be doing a great justice in showing these two fathers that our hearts go out to them. they are the ones who will need our support. it is okay to be angry about this for I know some of you were friends and family to the victims. my heart goes out to you all. honestly, I don't think this Lawsuit will result in anything. they have pictures of the crash site and the vehicles. you can try to lie your way in court, but Pictures don't lie!!!

             
          • firebeam posted at 2:03 pm on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            firebeam Posts: 106

            85 MPH in a 35 MPH; what else do you need to know.

            Like the old saying goes... Deep down, lawyers ar really good people....as in about 6-feet deep.

             
          • dishguru posted at 1:52 pm on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            dishguru Posts: 11

            I don't recall there being a sudden rash of accidents during the prolonged period of construction on that stretch of Hwy 93. Seems to me that thousands of vehicles were able to manuver through the zone without incident, either by day or night, rain or no rain. Maybe obeying the speed limit had something to do with that fact. Hmmmmm.

             
          • ImRhys posted at 1:04 pm on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            ImRhys Posts: 9

            Faithful Reader I was just trying to show everyone that she already has been charged with homicide, because it seems most people on here don't realize she's even been charged so excuse me for saying current trial, i didn't mean to upset you so much, it must be very close to your heart, hope you feel better now that we cleared that up.

            and Montana_G why would you say that without putting your own name on here.

             
          • MontanaMom07 posted at 11:38 am on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            MontanaMom07 Posts: 10

            http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726989288&ref=ts#!/profile.php?id=726989288......

             
          • MontanaMom07 posted at 11:31 am on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            MontanaMom07 Posts: 10

            This just makes me sick....Justine yes may have mental "issues" but go look at her facebook page, she seems like a regular teenager. She shows no sympothy for killing 3 ppl at all, and now to sue all these ppl is unbelieveable. There is no one but herself to blame for driving 85 MPH through a contrustion zone at night in the rain.....you shouldn't drive that fast in the first place, no where in the Flathead Valley can you drive that fast AT ALL and then to do it in a construction zone.....HELLO requardless or not what her text messages say....no matter her age, mental state, whatever she was driving way to fast for the conditions and thats enough to be tried as an Adult. I hope she spends the rest of her life in jail, and soon realizes that one has to take responsibility for their OWN actions, and accept the proper consiquences. The Winter Family should be ashamed of themselves for this insane lawsuit.

             
          • bballsupporter posted at 11:13 am on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            bballsupporter Posts: 1

            A few things are for sure...Ms. Winters was doing 85 in a 35mph construction zone, she was texting while driving and was in a distressed state of mind. Based on just those facts, she is guilty of killing 3 innocent people. Her and her family need to accept that she killed three people. Sueing the estate of the family is the lowest of low. They should be ashamed of themselves. Karma is bad thing to mess with. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims family!

             
          • rallysmom posted at 9:11 am on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            rallysmom Posts: 40

            Even if it is somehow found that Ms. Winters did not deliberatly try to kill herself that night, she was the one who was speeding and driving in a distressed state of mind. The result was that three people lost thier lives. To even bring the deceased's estate and family into this is about the lowest thing I could even imagine. If you are looking for money, fine, sue the companies that were in charge of the road work. I don't think that that there is basis for that either, but leave the poor man alone who lost his family. He lost more than you can ever fathom Ms. Winters. You still have your life and it sounds like it is still a fairly privileged one at that.

             
          • tileman1814 posted at 7:49 am on Mon, Aug 2, 2010.

            tileman1814 Posts: 100

            One thing you all can bet on these people will never be welcome in this valley ever.Another thing you can bet on is that this jerkwater lawer is the one that started this law suite bussiness.

             
          • Montana_G posted at 11:31 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Montana_G Posts: 1

            i dont think alot of you would be talking this bad if you had to post by your real names

             
          • faithful reader posted at 11:14 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            Tonystalk, you might be right, but the problem with your theory is that this suit was apparently filed pro se by the father and the girl. It's hard to tell because the article is unclear and the Interlake is apparently over its head as it referred to the transfer hearing as a trial.

             
          • Tonystark posted at 10:46 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Tonystark Posts: 12

            faithful reader: I suspect Ms. Winter's insurance company has told her they won't cover the claim and the civil suit was filed to force a counter-suit to get the insurance company to defend and indemnify as well as to produce expert evidence for the crim trial.

             
          • Tonystark posted at 10:40 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Tonystark Posts: 12

            make no mistake about it, this lawsuit is all about getting a insurance company to pay. Insurance companies typically do not pay for third party liability when it is an intentional tort. The estate would be best served going after the dad for negligent supervision of the minor as the minor has no assets. However, as the facts stand, Dad's insurance company probably told the estate we are not paying b/c it was intentional. Dad sues the estate now, so the estate's insurance companies attorneys get involved to prove that the deceased was not negligent. They will also likely countersue and ask for a dec. judgment that Dad's insurance company has to indemnify and defend him. Judge will likely say yes b/c saying no would lead to an immediate appeal. Saying yes would delay an appeal until trial.
            Dad's insurance company is now screwed. They have to put on their best case and do the best job to represent them. Dad tells them to settle for the policy limits ASAP. Moreover, if the Estate offers to settle for policy limits, then go after UIM coverage, if Dad's insurance company failed to do so, they would be liable for an excess verdict, which would be in the millions. They would have bad-faith cases against them both by the Estate and by Dad.
            In the end, not knowing the specific facts, Dad's insurance company was refusing to represent him and refusing to pay the claim. An attorney probably recommended this strategy as it will force his insurance company to represent him, through a dec. judgment and counter-suit, then he can direct them to pay the estate and settle the claim.

             
          • firebeam posted at 10:38 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            firebeam Posts: 106

            Ethical defense is apparently a rather subjective term to some lawyers. Oh well, if you can't (your case) dazzle them with details, baffle 'em with B.S. This is such a stinky tactic I can smell it through the internet. PHEWWWWW!

             
          • faithful reader posted at 10:34 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            Thanks for the information and the insults, ImRhys, but you are absolutely wrong. There is no "current trial." The judge was merely hearing arguments about which court should have jurisdiction in this case - youth court or district court - just as she may consider motions to suppress evidence or a change of venue. Understand now?

             
          • ImRhys posted at 10:01 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            ImRhys Posts: 9

            To all the obviously oblivious people Justine has all ready been charged with 2 counts of deliberate homicide the current trial is to see whether she will be charged as an adult or juvenile.
            http://dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_5951ff54-857c-11df-9a16-001cc4c002e0.html
            Look it up second paragraph first sentence.

             
          • faithful reader posted at 9:57 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            You know, kalispell dude, Miss Winter has two attorneys, paid experts and, presumably, an insurance company whose job it is to find any evidence they can that she is not responsible for those people's deaths. Her trial court hasn't even been decided yet. It seems most people agree that her suing the grieving husband and father in this case has nothing to do with the criminal matter and is simply reprehensible.

             
          • trnshedangel1 posted at 9:48 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            trnshedangel1 Posts: 4

            This is so horrible of the disturbed girls family, as if the family of the victims havn't been through enough as it is.

             
          • don't forget posted at 6:45 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            don't forget Posts: 4

            Correction on my previous comment about the center lane. I meant there was no center line to cross over.

             
          • don't forget posted at 6:33 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            don't forget Posts: 4

            Kalispelldude you have proven my point exactly.... you do not know the facts. So you really shouldn't be putting your comments out there blindly. Yes, the Winter family did hire a "specialist" to counter the states evidence; stating that he could not say for sure that Justine's car ended up in the Northbound lane. This "specialist" that was HIRED by the Winter family has investigated 9... yes 9 crash sites in his career. This against the two state patrolmen that together have investigated far more than 1500 crash sites. You do the math kalispelldude. Not to mention the two state patrolmen were there the night of the accident and this "specialist" that the Winter's hired was not. Please also note, there was NO center lane. That is actually the technicality they are trying to get off on. Another FACT. You are correct, I am emotionally invested and it really gets under my skin to think that some man that knows nothing about the case could put his two cents in, when this is a very small community and the Johnson's and Thompson's have had nothing but compassion and integrity throughout this entire nightmare. Now Mr. Thompson is being sued by this girl and her father. Not because the facts are not there to prove what happened, but because this family has NO ACCOUNTABILITY for their actions. May I also re-remind you that there were eye witnesses at the scene and these witnesses were not paid by anybody.

             
          • whatever36 posted at 5:31 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            whatever36 Posts: 10

            I hope she can pays her dues in this life, so she wont "rot in hell" in the next.

             
          • elkaholic86 posted at 4:58 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            elkaholic86 Posts: 23

            This is completely insane!! I dont care what all the issues were with the road or anything else!! she was driving 85 MPH for godsake that is enough right there to convict her of being neglegent!! And i agree she does not deserve any right to enjoy life period.. you killed a whole family i hope u rot in hell!!

             
          • whatever36 posted at 4:51 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            whatever36 Posts: 10

            you would think, that people who do not know the facts would not comment? Don't you think?
            If there is doubt it will be straightened out, in the trails there was no doubt that Justine crossed into the other lane and killed the family in the other car.
            And I am saying this as a friend to the Winters not the other family, i believe she was wrong even as a friend of hers.
            This case has carried on for a long while, and it does not sound to me like a quick judement at all.

             
          • mtdawg posted at 4:41 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            mtdawg Posts: 293

            Regarding Flathead Resident's post:

            The law does not require an autopsy be performed because a death occurs outside of a healthcare facility. The law states that in such instances an investigation will be made by the coroner. That was done. Cause of death was not an issue. In any case toxicology examination of fluids from both the victim, and probably the perpetrator were taken. My guess is that there was nothing suspicious found.

            I truly hope that this is nothing more than a ploy instigated by a greedy father.

             
          • kalispelldude posted at 4:39 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            kalispelldude Posts: 220

            Funny how you can accuse me of stuff without knowing the FACTS about what I know. I do not need to be reminded of the FACTS, because I never KNEW the FACTS until now. I know no one that is involved in this case. I have not followed it or paid attention to it at all to this point. Sounds to me like YOU are friends with the other party. I am an impartial observer, which is exactly the kind of people you need on a jury. It sounds like your FACTS are apparently disputed. That's my point. Sounds like there is some doubt that Winter was the one that actually crossed the center lane. Seems like that's exactly what I stated in my previous post. Sounds like you're the one that needs to pull their proverbial head out of the sand. lol Obviously you have some connection to the deceased, your raw emotion is obviously and clouding your judgment. From the article "Curry also maintained there is no evidence that Winter’s vehicle was in the northbound lane when it crashed." If you would calm down and actually pay attention, you would realize that I am not saying Winter isn't guilty, I'm saying she's not guilty yet, and there is obviously a difference of opinions as to who is at fault by the "experts." We are quick to judgment in this valley. Give the girl a fair chance. That's what we are supposed to do here in America.

             
          • whatever36 posted at 4:37 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            whatever36 Posts: 10

            And randy,
            As a father you need to know when to fold your hand of cards in this Poker Game. Your in a high stakes game and you have already lost, now you are in a dual with someone who is faster and has found you guilty of cheating.

            Your daughter is guilty, and as a father you need to teach Justine right and wrong, and you cannot do that if you do not understand the difference or chose to ignore the difference.

            Now is the time to teach Justine to live right, and do the right thing. Honor and integrity, something that is not held highly right now in the country will eventually save us all from the Hell that is to come.

             
          • whatever36 posted at 4:30 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            whatever36 Posts: 10

            Kalispell Dude,
            There is too much proof that Justine Winters intentionally drove her car into the other car. She was innocent until all of the facts proved her to be guilty. It is time to face all of the facts. She did it, shes got to take the consequences of her actions. Whether or not she ment to kill the other people or not, she did. And she will have to pay for it the rest of her life one way or the other. This just does not go away. People make mistakes, she made hers, and now she has to live with it.

            But this last desperate action to sue is shameful and humiliating not only to anyone who carries the Winter name but to all of ther friends who know the Winters. I can only say that for some one who has known this family for a long time, i am ashamed of my friends actions, and only hope that you are ashamed also. You took lives, and now you want something for it. Shame on you!

             
          • don't forget posted at 4:14 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            don't forget Posts: 4

            Kalispelldude, it sounds like you are either very close with the Winter family or may be part of the Winter family. Apparently you have not been listening to the facts. The facts are out there and beings I have sat thru the court hearings and have been a part of this criminal case since that fateful night, I will remind you of THE FACTS. Justine dropped off her boyfriend just before her suicide attempt that went terribly wrong. Then proceeded to text; the reason she did this was because she intended to crash her car and kill herself. Sadly her boyfriend dared her to do so, and what happened next is the direct reason that three INNOCENT people died. She eccelerated to 95% full throttle at 87 mph colliding with the oncoming vehicle that was traveling below the speed limit, believed to be 29.4 mph. How do we know this? FACTS... there were witnesses. Kalispelldude, how about you stop spreading the same deranged messages that the Winter family is spreading around town that their poor daughter is a victim of the judicial system and face the FACTS. How is it that Justine has permanent brain damage and cannot handle the consequences, but she has managed to stay on the honor roll at her school all of last year? How is it that she gets "leave" from house arrest to go look at potential colleges? How is it that she is allowed to take part as the schools football manager as an after school activity if she is on house arrest? How is it that she is allowed to vacation at her cabin in the NorthFork while on house arrest? ...Sounds like she has managed to live a pretty 'normal' life after taking the lives of three INNOCENT people. I hope she has to face the REAL consequences, and justice does prevail. For the sake of the community please pull your head out of the sand Kalispelldude!

             
          • kalispelldude posted at 3:13 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            kalispelldude Posts: 220

            Sounds to me like there may be a lot of facts about this case that most of you don't know or understand. that's the problem with this country, it's guilty until proven innocent (especially int eh court of public opinion), not innocent until proven guilty. If you don't have all the facts, you can't claim that a person is guilty. Sounds like there has been experts' testimony that has cast doubt on the "official story" from law enforcement. Fairness and justice isn't just about making sure someone pays for an alleged victims' sufferings. It is about making sure the TRUTH is known, and the RIGHT people are punished, if necessary. Innocent until proven guilty is not a new concept...it's been around in our nation for 220+ years. This girl MAY have only been guilty of excessive speeding in a construction zone. Sounds like there may be proof she wasn't the one that crossed the center line. Once again, am shocked at the mob mentality in the valley. I sure hope I'm never wrongly accused of something I didn't do...I'd hate to have most of you on a "jury of my peers." Civil litigation may be an unusual form of defense, but maybe they feel they have no choice, and no one is willing to listen to any evidence that they may have. And just because they sue, doesn't necessarily mean they will get any money out of it. If there is evidence to prove the other party is guilty, why not sue? Obviously they feel they aren't getting treated fairly or justly in the criminal system. And what's with the DELIBERATE homicide charges? If she really was trying to kill herself (and that is a disputed point), what proof is there that she was DELIBERATELY trying to kill the other people too? There is homicide that is not deliberate. And to the person that Winter should be executed after filing the lawsuit, do you even understand how laws work, and why we have a justice system in this country? Are you going to want to chop someone's arms off now, if they are caught stealing?? Are you kidding me?

             
          • faithful reader posted at 2:51 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            truthspeaks and Eastnorth Neighbor have the right idea. I will donate to a legal defense fund for the Thompsons. Are there any family friends who would be willing to set up an account?

            It's asking for that poor family to compensate Miss Winters and her father that is galling, but trying to get money from the construction company is also outrageous. Sure, the work zone was confusing, especially in the rain and at night. What construction zone isn't? That's precisely why you don't go barreling through there at 85 miles per hour. The cause and effect was the girl's reckless actions that killed those people, not a construction zone that thousands of others drove through unscathed.

             
          • EastNorth Neighbor posted at 2:18 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            EastNorth Neighbor Posts: 33

            May Justine learn to accept responsibility for her actions. Where may we donate money to the Thompson legal defense fund? Let's see some unity on this one, neighbors!

            Friends of Caden in life... and beyond.

             
          • faithful reader posted at 2:07 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            Bluefox said: "It goes to show that lawyers have no ethics beyond their own pocketbooks, judges follow the money and its ok to let spoiled little girls get away with murder, I weep for the future."

            Except it shows nothing of the kind. I don't see that any lawyer is involved with this. There is no money for a judge to follow. This girl hasn't gotten away with anything as she is awaiting trial.

            All it shows is that there is one repulsive father who wishes to point the blame at anyone but his precious little snowflake.

             
          • BlueFox posted at 1:44 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            BlueFox Posts: 8

            I'm still in confusion as to how a "professional" can get an idea of a persons emotions or mental state from a text message? She was speeding through a construction zone, and killed two people regardless of text messages or not she is guilty alone of that. Now to have her and her family rabidly turn on the family of those who were killed is sickening to say the very least. It goes to show that lawyers have no ethics beyond their own pocketbooks, judges follow the money and its ok to let spoiled little girls get away with murder, I weep for the future.

             
          • My2cents posted at 1:43 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            My2cents Posts: 43

            Wow. I can understand the suing the construction companies because that construction zone was a bit confusing at night and when it was rainy but to sue the estate too. That's outrageous.

             
          • Joey Boy posted at 1:26 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Joey Boy Posts: 3

            I feel this is perhaps a ploy to recieve a change of venue; it certainly has generated outrage. I do not know the Winter family, but I did know the vitcims and their family. They were and are some of the most loving and decent people I have ever met. This is a criminal case....not a civil case.

             
          • Montana_Tom posted at 12:58 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Montana_Tom Posts: 60

            Wow.. the cell phone law worked here huh? Maybe we need a "no attempting to commit suicide while driving" law? Maybe the dad should sue the boyfriend for upsetting her in the first place, or maybe he could sue the State of Montana for not requiring a psycholgical examination before issuing a drivers' license? That's probably coming soon too! Crazy! Oh wait... I know... he could sue whoever let her drive away from the last place she was at in such a messed up emotional state of mind!!! After all it works when people want to blame the bar or the booze for the drunk idiot behind the wheel! Speaking of that, why doesn't Jack Daniels or Jim Beam or Budweiser ever get sued for getting people drunk? Hmmm!

            Sorry... back to topic... I think if we were to dig into some parenting issues here we would find out that she simply wasn't taught how to properly vent her anger and frustration, since we can certainly see from this lawsuit that it apparently runs in her family! But why create more victims than there already are? Let it go.. she's going to have to pay the consequences one way or the other!

             
          • photoguy posted at 12:38 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            This is simply an attempt by a desperate family to throw the course of the trial off center, unfortunately in this country you can sue anyone for anything, as far as how this turns out, it will have no bearing on the criminal action in this case, but it does generate disgust as well as distraction to the focal point in this very sad story.

            Any Judge in their right mind, should delay this lawsuit until such time as the criminal cased is adjudicated...and I hope our local judiciary has the ba-lls to see this for what it is..

            This case definitely needs to have a change of venue, so the facts of the case can be judged impartially, and I would hope that the Prosecution would request the change..

            Civil cases should never take the spotlight over criminal cases, the criminal case needs to be decided first.

             
          • truthspeaks posted at 12:18 pm on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            truthspeaks Posts: 121

            I have know Randy for a very long time, I had always believed him to be a very nice guy who not only loved his family, his country and many others. But in one disgusting move he has wiped away everything positive in his life that he had accomplished. I am so sickened and sadden by his behavior that I don't believe I could ever look him in the eye again. I will walk a different direction from you Randy, as I don't even want to be in your airspace and be possilbly contaminated.

            I believe we as a community need to band together and get donations to help fight this evil injustice. I will donate some money and time to help fight for the poor souls who were murdered by a spoiled little girl.

             
          • faithful reader posted at 11:11 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            faithful reader Posts: 412

            Now we see the source of the troubled Miss Winter's problems. Randy Winter shows us how a modern pariah looks. This story is unclear, but it appears he filed his suit pro se, without benefit of an attorney. I hope that is so. I hope no attorney took this case.

            I haven't posted about any of the previous stories about this matter because there was nothing to contribute except the profound sorrow that everyone else feels. I did think of the girls' parents with some sympathy. We all hope to usher our children safely through the periods of impulsivity and poor judgment that they all face. How would I cope if a child I loved did something as unthinkable as Miss Winter is accused of doing? Now I have nothing but contempt for Randy Winter. He proves himself to be not only an unfit parent, but an unfit member of our society.

            I don't recall seeing any lawsuit filed by the Thompson family. I think that is telling.

             
          • concerned human posted at 11:09 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            concerned human Posts: 1

            REALLY???? is this some sick new movie line out of hollywood? bottom line is erin, caden and baby were killed by a RECKLESS DRIVER traveling way above safe speeds in a construction zone. i believe the winter family is acting out of extreme FEAR and being advised by lawyers with little ethical values. is this the way the system works? is it honorable to defend people even when they are truly at fault? the justice system makes me feel sick to my stomach, literally.
            let the victims family heal, justine. accept the awful mistake you made and grow from this point. i know if you tell yourself something long enough you begin to believe it, but, honey, you are going down the wrong path. this is the WRONG PATH!!

             
          • thatsnice posted at 10:57 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            thatsnice Posts: 1

            I can not believe that she would even think about involving the family she RUINED. If she has an issue with the road people, fine. But what did that poor woman and her children have to do with any of that. They are guilty of NOTHING!!! She should be ashamed of herself.

             
          • Dolphin posted at 10:51 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Dolphin Posts: 124

            I think I just threw up in my mouth!!! As if Erin's and Caden's family has not already been through enough. Shame on you Winter family! You make me sick!

             
          • disgusted posted at 10:46 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            disgusted Posts: 51

            Disgusted doesn't even begin to say how I fell about what is going on in this country...They, (government ) twist and turn and shake and anything else they can to make it everyone else's fault and now it filters down to the people...I pray to be called for this trial as a juror....I am sick and tired of the dirt bags that play this game and it's time to right the ship...

             
          • whatever36 posted at 10:40 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            whatever36 Posts: 10

            I am ashamed I ever called Justine Winter a friend, she shouls be ashamed of herself!

             
          • Veronica posted at 10:35 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Veronica Posts: 1

            Shame on you Winter family! Do you realize how bad this is? Sorry that your child messed up BIG TIME, but why hurt this family any more? This horrible thing has happened to the nicest family. Give up little girl and take your punishment. I was sick when I saw what you have done now.

             
          • MTMomma posted at 10:23 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            MTMomma Posts: 12

            I know Jason Thompson personally and this has already been a huge heartache on him and I can't believe that this girl is trying to make it worse. I believe in the "innocent before proven guilty" but text messages don't lie. Whether intention or not, she did it.

             
          • ChuckieInMT posted at 10:05 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            ChuckieInMT Posts: 100

            Ya, I'm with the rest of you - what is this world coming to?
            Perhaps the victim's family should sue Randy & Mary for raising such a disturbed child...
            Let's hope our system of justice can find some of it here, but I won't hold my breath...

             
          • Sturgisbeadman posted at 10:03 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Sturgisbeadman Posts: 6

            In a land where there is almost no healthy shame, pure evil will thrive; and as it appears in this case, evil is asking to be compensated by the people of Montana for driving 85 miles per hour in a road construction zone clearly marked 35 miles per hour. The text messages, age of driver, and autopsy (?) issues are totally irrevalent to the investigation and only seek to cloud one's consciousness in the search for truth and justice. A first year traffic accident investigation student would be able to recreate the accident based upon the known facts of point of impact, point of rest, skid mark analysis, damage points of vehicles, metal degradation, etc....pure science without all the legal, emotinal b.s. If she gets away with it, or more importanly, rewarded for her behavior, no one will ever be safe to drive in Montana again. Will you stand up against evil before it comes knocking at your door...or killing your loved ones?

             
          • cuzican posted at 9:43 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            cuzican Posts: 231

            This is a pathetic and desperate attempt to direct the blame at somebody, anybody, anything, other than the actual guilty person.

            Thinking back to when the construction was being done on 93 north......shouldn't she have been driving 35.........no 85.........it would seem that the construction markers/lanes etc etc. would have been a lot easier to understand if not driving 50mph over what I assume the speed limit was at the time.
            I remember driving down 93 countless times during the construction and never was it hard to understand the lane markings or detour and other signs.

            Its just a pathetic attempt to get a guilty person off on some stupid technicality.

             
          • underthebigsky posted at 9:08 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            underthebigsky Posts: 3

            Why don't vultures circle over dead attorneys? Professional courtesy.

            This is a clear attempt to throw the blame away from the girl who killed 3 people. The attempt to sue Knife River and the other companie is a typical, low, legal maneuver to baffle them with bull rather than dazzle them with facts. All attornies in the state of Monana are officers of the court and should be held to a high legal standard. Why is this girl's attorney allowed to insult the court and us with this kind of frivolous bs? All parties involved in this girl'd defense should be ashamed of themselves. We should not be so hard on this girl and her father in this situation, we should be disgusted and angry with the attorney who is giving such scummy, classless, hard-hearted advice.

            Good suggestion of trying her in another county....May I suggest Florida, where her attorney Max Battle is originally from, and maybe Max will stay there.

             
          • redhawk posted at 8:35 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            redhawk Posts: 150

            Wow. I cannot imagine how this must be affecting her victim's families. Remember, this is going to cost them legal fees, on top of everything else. What a monstrous thing to do to them.

             
          • dawnco posted at 8:34 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            dawnco Posts: 32

            I hope that i am called for jury duty for this case, she needs to spend the rest of her life in prison.

             
          • boo-boo posted at 8:30 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            boo-boo Posts: 49

            Aren't attorneys something.... For the most part they are a waste of skin... as for the teen and her father they both should be ashamed of themselves for putting the victims survivor through hell. After all it appears the teen killed her.. It's time to wake up, face reality and deal with real life.

             
          • Partyer posted at 8:27 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Partyer Posts: 685

            I knew it. I just knew that there was gonna be a surprise here. A bizarre twist that turns the blame around to the victim. I don't believe a word of it.

             
          • capnbutch posted at 8:05 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            capnbutch Posts: 99

            Fascinating story!

            In Hamilton, a pickup swung across ice and slammed my pickup. Everyone was hot to blame the other driver and nobody cared a whole lot because, the theory went, insurance would pay for it anyway.

            The accident was actually caused by construction and an improperly cut asphalt roadway (45-degree angle to the flow of traffic). As the truck's left side hit dirt, the right side was on asphalt and ice. Even at low speed, hitting the brakes was all it took to swing that vehicle wildly.

            I explained it to police, then to the sheriff's department and then to a state officer. Nobody believed and nobody cared. One officer was actually rude and smart-mouthed me.

            Finally, in exasperation, I called the Montana State Transportation Department. An engineer came on site and immediately understood. My photographs of the scene helped, too.

            Too often the court system is just another conveyor belt hauling another citizen to pointless doom.

            In my case, as the victim, I had to wade through three unconcerned law enforcement agencies to get justice for the other driver. Even at that, authorities balked at making the roadway safe for the next drivers. I had to be very patient and demand that the contractor be called to adjust that roadway. A court could never have understood the problem. A court could never have been fair.

            If this girl gets a fair shake, it will be only be because of a very odd circumstance -- that this article in the Inter Lake will have caused concern for scientific examination and genuine fairness.

             
          • ZooTown024 posted at 7:57 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            ZooTown024 Posts: 43

            From the article: "The lawsuit notes that Winter suffered permanent and continuing injuries, along with mental pain and suffering and the loss of capacity to enjoy life."

            Um....morons....she killed three people, allegedly intentionally. She no longer deserves the capacity to enjoy life. Is the mental pain and suffering caused by the fact that she killed three people on purpose or the fact that she will be going to prison for a long time? I suspect once again this worthless trash heap is thinking about nobody but herself. A few articles back regarding this a couple of sympathizers mentioned she has mental problems and needs help. Yeah, I suppose that is true. Most people deranged enough to kill people generally have severe mental problems. Duh. Try her as an adult and put her away for the vast majority of her life, once they find her guilty, of course.

             
          • frustrated59901 posted at 7:51 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            frustrated59901 Posts: 39

            Are you fricking kidding me!?! Is this what the justice system has come to...kill someone and then sue the victim's family? This has to be one of the sickest legal maneuvers I have ever seen! Anyone that would drag the family of the VICTIMS through this senseless heartache after all of their loss aready should be extremely ashamed of themselves! VERY SICK!!!

             
          • accobra69 posted at 7:35 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            accobra69 Posts: 36

            Ms Winter makes it very clear that the state has further degraded to the point of every time someone gets in trouble that the defense is "ITS NOT MY FAULT" Time to grow up little girl and fast the punishment for your crime. Suck it up buttercup.

             
          • Flathead Resident posted at 5:59 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            Flathead Resident Posts: 107

            It appears as if our community has already convicted her before all of the facts have been presented to a jury of her peers. The Judge has yet to decide if she should face youth or adult court and it appears as if her attorney must have some facts which we are not privledged to in order for this to be filed. If I was her attorney I would for sure ask to have this case moved from this county should she be taking to trial as an adult to assure a fair trial. I have many questions as to the way this case was handled by the Highway Patrol as well as Ed Corrigan, examples are why was no autopsy done as required by law when someone dies outside the presence of a health care provider? Ed Corrigan himself decided to NOT have that done, is this legal?

             
          • paddler posted at 4:43 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            paddler Posts: 3

            If she's mature enough to file a lawsuit, than she's mature enough to be tried as an adult.
            Her attorney though, ought to be tried as a juvenile - absurd.

             
          • james posted at 3:50 am on Sun, Aug 1, 2010.

            james Posts: 516

            After this it is my feeling she should get the maximum time in prison or the death penalty when found guilty and her attorney should have his license removed, this is a sickening thing , no ethics at all , twist everything around , no wonder no one has any respect for lawyers

             

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