Mistrial declared in Deatsville woman’s DUI, murder case

Updated: May. 8, 2019 at 2:59 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A DUI-related murder case against a Deatsville woman has been declared a mistrial after new evidence was brought to the attention of the prosecution.

The case involves 38-year-old Kelly Nicole Dingler. Dingler was indicted on reckless murder, driving under the influence and speeding charges after a March 2017 crash.

At the time of the crash, Alabama State Troopers said Dingler was driving her Ford Explorer through a construction zone at the intersection when she fatally struck a worker. A bridge in the area was out of service, due to construction.

According to Autauga County Chief Assistant District Attorney CJ Robinson, a jury was struck Monday and the case was set to begin Tuesday at 9 a.m. However, around 9 p.m. Monday, Robinson says a trooper who assisted in the investigation turned over body camera footage that had been taken during the course of the investigation. Once the prosecution was made aware of the video, “immediate action” was taken to submit a copy of the footage to the defense.

Prior to trial on Tuesday, an evidence suppression hearing was scheduled on a motion filed by the defense. The defense was seeking to have Dingler’s alcohol blood test results deemed inadmissible because they say she did consent to the test. This hearing would determine if the test could be included as evidence in the trial.

The video evidence released to the prosecution Monday night could have affected the hearing on the defenses’ motion, Robinson said.

Robinson says ethically and legally, the defense is entitled to see that video prior to the hearing and trial. Because of this, Circuit Court Judge Bill Lewis declared the mistrial Tuesday and sent the jury home.

This kind of mistake could have been avoided, Robinson added.

“It doesn’t matter if it is an oversight, or an afterthought, or just a complete honest mistake, at the end of the day it’s something we’ve just got to train. If that means training from end of the state to the other, midnight to sunrise, I’m happy to do it.” Robinson said. “Quite frankly, the victims, their families, they deserve better.”

Robinson says a suppression hearing will be rescheduled for some time in June. The trial will move forward after the judge makes his ruling on the motion to suppress the evidence.

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