New York Police Officer in DUI Case Suggests Victim Was Intoxicated and Responsible for Her Own Death

New York Police Officer Andrew Kelly is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. There is also an investigation into a possible cover-up of his accident when he was off-duty. The defense has now responded by claiming that the victim,Vionique Valnord (33), was drunk and responsible for her own death.

Valnord, the daughter of a Brooklyn pastor, had left a wedding to flag down a taxi when Kelly hit her. A report shows that she was intoxicated at the time.

At the time of the accident, Kelly refused a Breathalyzer but reportedly reeked of alcohol. He is looking at seven years behind bars if convicted.

The allegation against Valnord could make for an interesting trial fight over causation and responsibility. Kelly appears to be arguing that Valnord was the intoxicated person responsible for the accident by stepping into traffic. Drivers are, of course, required to be prepared to stop and to drive at a reasonable speed. However, they are not responsible if someone runs in front of their car. This could leave the jury with two allegedly intoxicated people and the task of pinning the blame on one or both. What if the jury finds both are responsible. This is not a comparative negligence case where damages can be reduced by the plaintiffs’ conduct. If both are responsible, is that sufficient for a beyond a reasonable doubt finding of guilt?

What is clear is that there are going to be some heavy pre-trial motions filed, including fights over proposed jury instructions in this case.

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4 thoughts on “New York Police Officer in DUI Case Suggests Victim Was Intoxicated and Responsible for Her Own Death”

  1. LK,

    That was not a very nice thing to do by the TSA Employee. Did you catch the story about the VillaNova grad taking a hit/bullet? It was in the same tagline.

  2. OT but it resonates: “Daniel Rubin: It was no joke at security gate”

    A TSA worker (a TSA trainer) planted a small plastic bag of white powder on an airline passenger as a joke as she went through his checkpoint then ‘found’ it and started questioning her about it. The worker is no longer in the employ of the TSA but whether he quit or was fired, as well as his name is protected information by TSA rules.

  3. Whoa. That’s a tough case, but didn’t we see something similar in CSI once? Guy stepped out in the street intending to commit suicide, was hit and stuck in a windshield by a drunk driver. The driver than drove home and let the guy die.

    Turns out it would have just been an accident had it been reported.

  4. I am glad that I am not in any part related to this case. What is amazing is that this matter is even being reported, after all it is New York….

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