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October 02, 2012 11:59 AM

Court Appeal Focuses On Handgun Comparison


The attorney for a woman sentenced to 70 years in prison for a deadly crash on Interstate 229 says her client was not given a fair trial and is asking the South Dakota Supreme Court for a new trial.

A jury convicted Tammy Kvasnicka of manslaughter and vehicular homicide following a wrong-way crash on Interstate 229 in July 2010.

Kvasnicka was drunk and had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 when she hit another car, killing one of the five people inside the other vehicle.

At her trial, an officer who reconstructed the scene compared the force of Kvasnicka's vehicle to firing 902 40-caliber glock handguns. Tuesday, Kvasnicka's attorney Nicole Laughlin told the Supreme Court justices that comparing a car to a gun was an unfair comparison that distracted the jury from what had actually happened.

We'll have more on the hearing tonight on KELOLAND News.

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