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Defense witness questions details of crash

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Posted: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:00 am

Defense attorneys for 17-year-old Justine Winter went to work Monday trying to discredit the prosecution’s position about how a 2009 fatal crash occurred on U.S. 93 north of Kalispell.

Attorneys spent most of the afternoon questioning a Libby man hired by the defense to reconstruct the crash last year.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • BoloBrat posted at 7:29 pm on Thu, Feb 3, 2011.

            BoloBrat Posts: 23



          • Rowdy posted at 10:44 am on Wed, Feb 2, 2011.

            Rowdy Posts: 9

            Do you think it is simply a coinsidence that this young lady said she was gonna wreck her car, and then it happened? And also would you sue a dead womans astate? Its funny how the real facts are over looked, a computer in a car is imparshal, its not on anybodys side, it doesnt know anybody personally, it does what its supposed to do record the facts. And yes in a text she said she was going to do this, i agree teens will do and say crazy things the difference here is this one followed through and actually did it.

          • Tazzdude posted at 8:37 am on Wed, Feb 2, 2011.

            Tazzdude Posts: 13

            Oops, Didn't mean to post the last one yet.

            Anyway, Billy, I believe you and MTlover2 are talking about two different witnesses. One following the car, and the one from the article above who passed the car before the wreck.

          • Tazzdude posted at 8:35 am on Wed, Feb 2, 2011.

            Tazzdude Posts: 13


          • Billy posted at 3:52 am on Wed, Feb 2, 2011.

            Billy Posts: 72

            mt lver
            Your eye wittness did not "remember" the car crossed the center line until much later. Think of yourself, your following a car you see it cross the center line and a crash. You are asked to describe exacly what happend in writing. do you forget about that detail and remeber it weeks later? It's common for wittnesses memory to change with time to match what their interviewers want them to remember.

          • slim posted at 11:35 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            slim Posts: 62

            Trials are won...and lost in the details. Hard to believe, but county officials could screw up a wet dream...

          • MTlover2 posted at 10:56 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            MTlover2 Posts: 19

            Billy, there most certainly was a reliable witness, THE CAR FOLLOWING BEHIND ERIN'S CAR saw it all. That is about as reliable and eye witness as one can get. Also......isn't it convenient she has no memory of the whole event.....HOGWASH! Just convenient on her part.

          • MrMark posted at 9:34 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            MrMark Posts: 359

            This could be a question of poor reporting or editing but the information that Mr. Curry gave about how the 2 cars came together was compelling to me. Did the trial just stop there for the day? Was there not more information given? What were his findings for crying out loud? DIL, if you're going to send a reporter to trials like this, then print it how it happened! Makes you wonder if we're really getting the true picture! The issue of tampering; just the defense's way of creating reasonable doubt. Ahhh, our wonderful justice system; ain't it great?

          • Billy posted at 3:53 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            Billy Posts: 72


            Don’t mean to pick on you but if my understanding is correct, there is no text confession, and there is no reliable eye witness. It was not in his report; it was coaxed out of him much later. As far as the confession, all I read was about a teen age girl texting her boy friend she is going to end it all. Bet that doesn't happen more than 2 or 3 thousand times a day in America. As for who pays the salary of the defense's forensic investigator, who do you think pays the salary of the prosecutions expert witnesses? Do you trust them? Lying is a legitimate interrogation technique used by police daily. To operate within the law they have to start and stop lying depending on the circumstance. Do you know anyone good at that? Besides they are not impartial by nature, they have the same boss as the prosecutor. There are more people per capita in American jails than anywhere in the world, thousands of them wrongly put there by ambitious prosecutors and police who think its ok to color outside of the lines. As for Justin's remorse, like most accident victims she has no memory of any of it. Its memory that causes remorse, we want to get it out of our head but we just can't, it torments us. I'm not sure how much we can beat ourselves up over something that does not even exist in our brain? No one knows what happened that night. We need to all say a prayer that the jury gets it right. If she walks and she was guilty, that is a miss-carriage of justice. If she spends her life in jail and she was innocent, words will not express what a useless tragedy it will be for Justin and her family.

          • Rebel Rouser posted at 1:29 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            Rebel Rouser Posts: 1564

            If it is shown that anyone tampered with evidence, that evidence should not be allowed. Also, if it is proven someone in law enforcement or the prosecution tampered with evidence, or neglected to properly maintain protection of that evidence, the entire case should be thrown out of court. To all of you, all seeing, all knowing individuals posting here, please try to keep an open mind until all the evidence is disseminated and presented, that is how our legal system works. Many cases have been tossed out because of the improper handling of evidence, many have gone free because of it, and many have been wrongfully convicted as well, it is part of our imperfect legal system. Anyone hear of the O. J. Simpson case?

            One more point, anyone who has had a teenage daughter knows how rampant and out of control these girls become during their change into adulthood. Raging hormones, changing almost everything about them, are in charge and foster this out of control behavior, especially when it come to boys and relationships, they are so out of control at times anything could (and does) happen. Not making excuses, just saying it could be a factor in this teenage girls situation, it only took a few seconds of being emotionally out of control to exercise that bad (life ending) judgment, if that's what happened.

          • MTlover2 posted at 12:27 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            MTlover2 Posts: 19

            Come on people, lets keep our eye on the ball here and not just throw rediculous snide comments to each other about what others comment on. We all have our opinions and are entitled to view them. That being said, I am certain the jury that was chosen for this case will have at least one person on it who can remind the rest of the "black box" in the car which clearly showed what speed the car was going at the time of impact as well as before, with very little to no deceleration. THAT is clear proof, with or with out the so called slap mark.

          • Jeffak posted at 12:12 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            Jeffak Posts: 104

            kalispelldude -"It shouldn't be about winning or proving your case. It should be about proving what actually happened."

            Not too failure with courtrooms are ya?
            Thats an old pipe dream....

          • Rowdy posted at 12:03 pm on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            Rowdy Posts: 9

            These people were hired by the defense, making the defense a customer, obviously they are gonna say what their customer wants to hear... right? And isnt Scott Curry a DUI defense lawyer? Also the reason we have computers in cars today is to eliminate human error on things like this, along with an eye-witness, a texted confession, and simply the lack of simpathy and remorse, I think the defense has a pretty tall order ahead of them.

          • mom posted at 11:35 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            mom Posts: 629

            I overheard some girls talking about how mean they are to her at school. Did they really send her get well cards with messages like "too bad you weren't killed" in them? Wow, kids can be awful.

          • photoguy posted at 11:03 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            No she is not currently in jail, I can't remember if she was released to her parents so she could continue her schooling or she is out on bail, but she is definitely not in jail..

          • mtnews1217 posted at 9:50 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            mtnews1217 Posts: 11

            I'm just curious. Is Justine in jail? Not to hint that she should be but is she? Because i was on facebook and saw her picture in the glacier high commons area and it was definitely after the crash, DEFINITELY. I knew what she looked like before and i could clearly tell she has had some facial surgeries.

          • pj2000 posted at 9:38 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            pj2000 Posts: 1

            This whole story is just really sad. I really do feel for both the family of the deceased but also the young girl who is probably more messed up emotionall now than she was before this all happened. I really hope that she is able to get some help. My heart aches for all those involved.

            Regardless of the "evidence" or whatever is presented, this young girl was going 85 miles an hour in a construction zone. No matter how poorly marked it was, going 85 mph is clearly driving recklessly. I honestly don't think this girl had the intentions of killing the people that died, but I am so disgusted with the decision to sue her estate. That is where I am having a hard time with this case. Even IF Erin did cross the centerline, if both had been going a reasonable speed, I really doubt erin, her son, and unborn child would have suffered the loss they did, and Justine wouldn't have gotten the injuries she got.

          • kalispelldude posted at 9:08 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            kalispelldude Posts: 220

            DevilDog, I don't see where "krissy" told anyone they weren't allowed to have a different opinion.

            "She undoubtedly did it intentionally at the time but the defense seems to be trying to discredit the evidence. It wont work"---Hopefully you're not a juror, and never will be.

            "Muddled up technicalities will not matter at that point. I would have went with a insanity defense."--Muddled up technicalities? Have you ever heard of a concept called reasonable doubt? These aren't "technicalities" they're talking about here. It's a very serious matter if the authorities tampered with or created evidence, or ignored evidence. If the defense witness's are legitimate, then there are serious questions regarding the "official story" of what happened. "Reasonable," "possible," and "undoubtedly" have little value to the prosecution's case...they must prove beyond reasonable doubt that what they say happened, happened. So far, from what I have read, the defense has poked some serious holes in the prosecution's case.

            If the prosecution can SIGNIFICANTLY discredit (not just TRY) the defense's witnesses, then they still have a strong case. Otherwise, there is compelling evidence that it didn't happen the way the "authorities" say it did. Or at least reasonable possibilities that it didn't. And that's all the defense needs...reasonable possibilities=potential reasonable doubt.

            Emotion only "muddles up" the mind and the ability to make fair decisions in situations like this, JAECIII. Sounds to me like maybe the "authorities" looked at the text messages, then used the physical evidence to try to prove the opinions they had already formed, instead of looking at the physical evidence before forming an opinion about what ACTUALLY have happened. It shouldn't be about winning or proving your case. It should be about proving what actually happened.

            Hopefully the jury gets it all sorted out fairly. This is not an easy case. On one hand there is the heartache of the unnecessary and untimely deaths of 2 very nice (from what I've heard) people, and on the other, there is the sad story of an emotionally disturbed girl that either threw her life away for no good reason, or is the victim of an extremely unfortunate set of circumstances. Either way, nobody really wins, even if real justice is served.

          • Not Really posted at 7:40 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            Not Really Posts: 104

            Oh, great. The cops could not even keep their hands off of the evidence. Had to frame her.

            Where's Knife River? When will they testify RE: the terrible condition of the road they were supposed to be reconstructing?

            Be very careful when dealing with the cops here, they seem to have a problem.

          • Claus posted at 6:56 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            Claus Posts: 403

            So, it just happened that at the moment she was texting about crashing her car and committing suicide, the other car crossed the line and took her out? It's possible, but reasonable? Oh, and then the authorities tampered with the evidence to frame her?

          • DevilDog posted at 6:46 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            DevilDog Posts: 18

            Hey Krissy, Other people can have opinions also.

          • krispistofferson posted at 4:58 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            krispistofferson Posts: 265

            Undoubtedly? Not defending this child mind you but how the hell would you know?

          • JAECIII posted at 2:48 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            JAECIII Posts: 2

            She undoubtedly did it intentionally at the time but the defense seems to be trying to discredit the evidence. It wont work. At the end of it all the jury will be thinking about the dead. Muddled up technicalities will not matter at that point. I would have went with a insanity defense.


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