LAWYERS are pushing for the release of a driver who has been held in custody for nearly a month while facing charges in connection to a fatal wedding night crash.
Jamie Komoroski was charged with felony DUI and reckless homicide after her Toyota sedan collided with another vehicle on April 28, killing newlywed Samantha Miller.
Miller was pronounced dead in her wedding gown and her new husband, Aric Hutchinson, and another passenger in the low-speed vehicle suffered serious injuries in the crash.
According to the Folly Beach Police Department, Komoroski’s blood alcohol level was three times over the legal limit and was driving 65mph in a 25mph zone.
She has been held at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center since April 28 after being denied bond.
Christopher J. Gramiccioni and Nathan S. Williams, who are representing Komoroski, filed a motion for bond with the Court of General Sessions for the Ninth Judicial Circuit on May 19.
The motion is asking that bail is set at $100,000 with added conditions that Komoroski attend and complete an inpatient rehabilitation program and remain under supervision at her mother’s home in Brick, New Jersey.
The motion claims that Komoroski has strong familial support through her parents and siblings, has a history of caring for children as a babysitter, and has no prior criminal convictions or a history of violent behavior.
The lawyers slammed the portrayal of their client as a partier, claiming she’d been painted as “as an unrepentant villain who ostensibly had a history of partying behavior.”
They referenced photos on Komoroski’s social accounts “appearing to depict the accused attending a Halloween party or socializing with friends while in college.”
“As this court is aware, such characterizations of the accused serve only to inflame public sentiment and remain irrelevant to the determination as to whether Ms. Komoroski poses a flight risk or any danger to the community.”
Komoroski’s mother is also willing to take a leave of absence from her job as a paraprofessional and get an apartment in the Charleston area if the court doesn’t allow her daughter to be released to her New Jersey home.
“In light of her lack of criminal history, her strong familial support and her peaceable character, her commitment to rehabilitative treatment and her mother’s and brother’s willingness to house and support Jamie while she is on release, and the multitude of conditions the court can impose in its order for bail to further protect the public and ensure her appearance, Jamie asks that the court order her release,” the motion read.
The news comes as Hutchinson filed a wrongful death lawsuit for unspecified damages.
According to court documents, the lawsuit is filed against Komoroski and the bars that served her.
Miller was killed when Komoroski allegedly slammed into a golf cart carrying her and Hutchinson from their wedding reception.
The groom was rushed to hospital with broken bones and a brain injury from which he is continuing to recover.
The golf cart – decorated with a “Just Married” sign – was knocked 100 yards and flipped several times.
Speaking at a vigil for his bride on the beach where the two were married, Hutchinson paid tribute to the love of his life.
According to court documents obtained by Queen City News, he has filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages from the driver and the bars that served her.
The suit filed on Wednesday in Charleston claims Komoroski had a “booze-filled day of bar hopping” and that the bars she visited had a duty “to exercise due care” when serving her.
Hutchinson’s representative, Danny Dalton said: “The state grants restaurants and bars a license for the privilege to serve alcohol, and with that privilege comes a responsibility to the community to serve patrons responsibly and to deny service to individuals who are visibly intoxicated.”
Dalton added that the bars she allegedly visited before the accident has: “a duty of care not to allow patrons to become intoxicated, to not serve alcohol to intoxicated persons.”
The lawsuit names Snapper Jacks, The Drop in Bar and Deli, The Crab Shack, Taco Boy, El Gallo Bar and Grill, and Bottle Cap Holdings, LLC.
The suit claims that the establishments “should have known that they had the authority and obligation to train, control, and supervise their respective employees, agents, or servants, including any bartenders, servers or any other employee” to not overserve patrons alcohol and not place others at risk of incurring serious injury or death.
Gramiccioni released a statement on behalf of his client.
“We cannot fathom what the families are going through and offer our deepest sympathies. We simply ask that there not be a rush to judgment,” he said.
“Our court system is founded upon principles of justice and mercy and that is where all facts will come to light.”
A GoFundMe created to assist Hutchinson and the family as they continue to recover has raised over $725,000.
In an update on the GoFundMe page, Aric’s mother Annette said: “We are missing Sam more than anything, she instantly fit into our family from the first day Aric and Sam met, she was everything to my son and changed him for the better.
“She could light up a room with her presence and had an ease about her.
“They shared many hopes and dreams for their future including children and building a house.”
Miller’s mother previously told Today that her daughter looked at her husband before getting in the golf cart and said: “I want this day, this evening, to last forever.”
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