Trial begins for Johnson County woman accused of causing fatal wreck

By: Hillary Thornton; Laura Beranek Email
By: Hillary Thornton; Laura Beranek Email
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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT)- UPDATE 4/21/14
Jury trial began Monday for Myra Castle, a Johnson County woman charged with DUI and manslaughter.

Castle was involved in an August wreck on Route 201 that killed C.J. Mollet, 18.

The jury selection lasted more than three hours before beginning day one of the trial.

"We're here to get justice for C.J. He was such a good boy," said Mollett's grandmother, Brenda Mollett, "He followed the rules. C.J. just really, really loved life. And this has really been an impact on our family."

During the jury selection process, Myra Castle's defense attorney, Ned Pillersdorf, said their defense moving forward would be trying to prove that it was not Castle that caused the wreck that killed Mollett.

Castle admitted to police that she had been drinking before the accident.

Her defense attorneys say Mollett's speed played a factor in the wreck.

"C.J. loved his motorcycle. But C.J. was not drunk," said Mollett, "So that's where it lies."

The trial will continue throughout the week in the Johnson County Circuit Court.
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UPDATE 10/18/13

A Johnson County woman who police say was drunk behind the wheel in an August crash that killed a teenager was back in court on Friday. Myra Castle, appeared before a judge to learn if her manslaughter case would continue or be dismissed after a motion to dismiss was filed by her attorney.

Friends and family of the teenager gathered to pray before entering the courthouse to see if the indictment of Castle for second-degree manslaughter and DUI would stand.

Mollett's friend, Justin Curtis says, "We don't give up, we are fighters, and we won't give up. We know he is looking down proud with a smile."

When the grand jury met on September 18th, they were not presented with information requested by the defense. However, Castle's attorney says he does not believe The Commonwealth deliberately withheld information.

Defense attorney, Joseph Lane says, "It is a technical violation of the rule that the grand jury was not initially provided with the information."

The Commonwealth says the information was not presented because they did not receive it prior to that initial meeting. Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Anthony Skeans says, "We reopened and provided the grand jury with the information on September 20th before they made the return on manslaughter verdict."

After a few minutes of discussing what the defense called miscommunication, a decision was made.

While addressing the judge, Lane says, "All that being said, technical violation or not, we'd like to withdraw our motion."

The indictment stands, providing a moment of relief for a family fighting for justice as the case moves forward.

Castle's next court appearance is set for November 1st in Johnson County Circuit Court.

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UPDATE 10/17/13

The attorney for a Johnson County woman charged in a crash that killed 18-year-old, C.J. Mollett, filed a motion to dismiss her grand jury indictment.

Myra Castle, is charged with DUI and second-degree manslaughter in the August crash. Officials say the vehicle she was operating collided with Mollett's motorcycle on Rt. 201 in Johnson County.

The motion to dismiss will be heard in Johnson County Circuit Court Friday morning. We will have a crew in the courtroom to bring you the latest developments in the case.
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UPDATE 10/4/13

Myra Castle entered the courtroom in Johnson County facing second-degree manslaughter and DUI charges in the death of 18-year-old C.J. Mollett. With friends and family of the teen protesting outside the courthouse, Castle pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Castle's attorney, Ned Pillersdorf says, "The reconstructionists, both from the Commonwealth and our reconstruction expert, will tell you if the deceased had been going 55 MPH she (Castle) would have cleared the intersection and this never would have happened. If he was going 65 MPH she would've cleared the intersection and this would not have happened. The deceased, by driving 78 MPH without a helmet caused his own death. So, Myra Castle is not guilty of causing his death."

Reports show that Castle was drunk as she made a left hand turn crossing into the path of Mollet.

Mollett's cousin, Trent Lemaster says, "It is hard coming out and seeing someone that killed one of your loved ones but the fact still remains, she gets to go home and he is buried."

Family members say they find strength to fight for justice through their memories of Mollett...all in hopes that drunk drivers stay off the road.

"She just left here in her car. She's going home probably to watch soap operas, and now all we get to do is go over to the grave and sit around and think about the memories we used to have with C.J." says Lemaster.

Friends and family members say they plan to be present all the way through the trial.

Castle's next court date is set for November 1st.

The prosecution did not wish to comment at this time.
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ORIGINAL STORY 8/21/13
Investigators are still looking into what caused a deadly crash that killed a teen in Johnson County. Wednesday morning, accident reconstruction experts were on Kentucky 201 in Johnson County to figure out what happened in the motorcycle wreck that killed 18 year-old C.J. Mollett.

Investigators spent more than three hours measuring skid marks, checking the view sight, and gathering evidence from the accident that happened last Friday.

Bryan Lane with the Kentucky State Police says the investigation will help prove who was on the wrong side of the road. He and other investigators also spent time talking to those where were near the scene of the crash.

Investigators do believe Mollett was traveling at a high rate of speed and say his skid marks stretch 185 feet.

Joseph Witten witnessed the accident and said, “I heard the crash, I immediately run up the road, I was confused because I only saw one vehicle. Closer I got, I saw the motorcycle.”

The driver of the vehicle that struck Mollett’s motorcycle was Myra Castle. She admitted to investigators that she had been drinking.

Castle was charged with DUI, Mollet was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators say Castle could face more charges. Castle is out on bond and her next court date is set for September 4th.


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