Lawyers for SC driver accused of killing bride on wedding night says she is no threat to the public
Attorneys for the woman who has been charged with killing a South Carolina bride on her wedding night while driving under the influence have slammed the portrayal of their client as a careless villain, claiming she poses no threat to the public.
Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, had a blood alcohol level three times higher than the legal driving limit when she crashed into newlyweds Samantha Miller, 34, and Aric Hutchinson, 36, police said.
The couple were being driven on a golf cart following their wedding reception on Folly Beach when they were struck on April 28 by the vehicle Komoroski was driving.
The crash killed Samantha and badly injured Aric, in addition to the other passengers.
Komoroski has since been charged with three counts of felony DUI resulting in bodily injury or death and one count of reckless homicide.
Jamie Lee Komoroski (pictured) had a blood alcohol level three times higher than the legal driving limit when she crashed into newlyweds Samantha Miller, 34, and Aric Hutchinson, 36,
Miller died and Hutchinson was severely injured when their mangled buggy (pictured) rolled multiple times as it was thrown 100 yards by Komoroski’s Toyota Camry.
Although she was initially denied bond, her attorneys, Christopher Gramiccioni and Nathan Williams, have filed a motion asking for bond set at $100,000.
As part of that bond, the attorneys have suggested that Komoroski attend and complete an inpatient rehab program before going to stay at her mother’s home in New Jersey, where there would be no access to alcohol or a vehicle.
The attorneys also slammed the portrait of a ‘villain’ that they claim the media has concocted of their client.
‘Certain media reports paint a picture of the accused as an unrepentant villain who ostensibly had a history of partying behavior, extrapolated from handpicked photographs posted to social accounts appearing to depict the accused attending a Halloween party or socializing with friends while in college,’ read motion.
‘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,’ it continued.
The motion also argued Komoroski has no criminal history and has a strong family unit, suggesting that she would pose no threat to the greater public, were she to be released.
Aric Hutchinson has separately filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Komoroski.
Attorneys for the grieving widower said: ‘The tragedy has shattered the entire family, beyond just the individuals named in the lawsuit.’
In addition to Komoroski, the suit names several establishments that allegedly served the defendant alcohol before she got behind the wheel, despite her being ‘noticeably and visibly intoxicated.’
In his case, filed on Wednesday in Charleston, Aric Hutchinson alleged that Komoroski ‘bar hopped’ before getting behind the wheel.
The couple were being driven on a golf cart following their wedding reception on Folly Beach
Hutchinson filed a wrongful death suit against Komoroski, alleging that she had bar hopped all day before getting behind the wheel. He is seen here at a beachside memorial for his late bride
Attorneys argued Komoroski has no criminal history and has a strong family unit and would not pose a danger if released.
Hutchinson’s lawyers argued the bars where she drank have ‘a duty of care not to allow patrons to become intoxicated, to not serve alcohol to intoxicated persons.’
Danny Dalton, representing Hutchinson, 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.’
They said they hope the lawsuit helps keep the community safer from drunk driving by focusing on the responsibility of liquor licenses.
‘There are still many details we don’t know about the sequence of events leading up to the tragic crash, but by filing a lawsuit, we can begin the legal discovery process that allows us to get the answers that Samantha’s family deserves,’ he said Dalton.
Komoroski was allegedly going 65mph in a 25mph zone and her blood alcohol content was 0.261 – more than three times the driving limit.
She smashed into a golf cart taking the bride and groom and several others to their Airbnb.
The mangled buggy rolled multiple times as it was thrown 100 yards by Komoroski’s Toyota Camry.
Samantha died of her catastrophic injuries, while Aric was left in a wheelchair after suffering two broken legs, multiple facial fractures and a concussion.
The 34-year-old’s devastated family revealed on Tuesday, two weeks after the tragedy, her heart-wrenching final words.
Her sister Mandi Jenkins told The Today Show: “She looked at him on the golf cart and said ‘I want this day to last forever.'”
Komoroski had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal driving limit
Miller and Hutchinson are pictured during their wedding ceremony in Folly Beach, South Carolina
Behind the wheel of a rented Toyota Camry, Komoroski was driving at 65mph in a 25mph zone, along a poorly-lit residential street when the fatal crash happened.
She reportedly told responding officers in the wake of the crash: ‘All of a sudden something hit me. I did nothing wrong.
Komoroski is said to have admitted to having two drinks an hour before the collision – a beer and a tequila pineapple cocktail.
However, her blood alcohol content indicated she had closer to 10 drinks.
Sgt. Zac Halpern of Folly Beach police reported that he asked Komoroski how drunk she was on a scale of one to 10, and she mumbled that she was at an eight before demanding a lawyer.
Officers responding to the scene tried to administer a sobriety test, but she refused, yelling for her boyfriend.
Police noted that she appeared to try to hide her eyes from them.
Komoroski was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was charged with three counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily harm or death and one count of reckless homicide.
Hutchinson has had two reconstruction surgeries and is set to have another, as well as suffering numerous broken bones and a brain injury.
Komoroski, a logistics account executive, remains in custody at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center and is set to appear in court in connection with the incident in June.
She could face up to 25 years in prison for the death of the bride, as well as a fine of up to $25,100, and an additional 15 years and $10,100 for the serious injury caused to the men in the buggy.
For the reckless homicide, she could be handed a sentence of 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5,000 – as well as having her license revoked for five years upon her release.
A GoFundMe page for the burial and medical costs has now reached over $728,000.