HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The third day of deliberations in the trial of a former UNC student charged in a drunken wrong-way Interstate 85 crash in 2015 resulted in a unanimous decision by the jury — guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Chandler Kania already pleaded guilty to a number of charges stemming from the crash, but has taken three counts of second-degree murder and reckless driving to trial.
Kania, who was 20 at the time, spent the night leading up to the July 19, 2015 crash drinking heavily before being involved in an argument over a girl, according to testimony. Kania drove his Jeep the wrong way on I-85 in Orange County, hitting a Suzuki sedan head-on.
Felecia Harris, 49, of Charlotte, Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, and 6-year-old Jahnice Beard of Brooklyn, New York were killed in the collision. A 9-year-old girl survived the crash.
The three victims were headed to Charlotte after traveling to Virginia for a family reunion.
The jury had three options: They could have found Kania guilty of second-degree murder, guilty of involuntary manslaughter or not guilty.
The jury deliberated for roughly three hours Thursday.
On Friday, they asked for a flip board, post-it notes, photos of skid marks after crash, and text messages.
On Oct. 3, Kania pleaded guilty to:
- Three counts of felony death by motor vehicle
- Felony charge of causing serious injury
- Felony driving while impaired
- Having on open container of alcohol
- Driving after consuming alcohol while under age 21
- Consuming alcohol under age 21
- Two counts of using a false driver’s license
- Driving the wrong way on a dual-lane highway
Proescutors said the guilty plea was not part of any deal made by Kania and his attorneys.
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