Former Wetumpka officer set for manslaughter trial

Wetumpka police officer's trial starting this week

ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Former Wetumpka police officer Andrew Bass is scheduled to stand trial for manslaughter in the coming week.

Bass was responding to an emergency call in October 2016 when he crashed into another car, killing 52-year-old Elaine Merritt. He wasn’t initially charged with manslaughter but was indicted in July 2017.

The fatal crash happened on Highway 231 with officials stating that Merritt was in the median waiting to merge when Bass drove down the median, colliding with her vehicle.

Attorneys spent Monday working to strike an Elmore County Jury that will determine Bass’ fate.

Bass was responding to an emergency call but court documents state he was driving 90 mph without running his emergency lights or siren.

State law requires the lights and siren during such emergencies but Alabama code is unclear what exactly constitutes an emergency. The code does, however, state that speed cannot cause harm to life or property.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday morning.

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