Koua Fong Lee, the man who was convicted in 2006
of killing three people when his Toyota Camry
struck a vehicle at a stoplight, has been acquitted of any crime. Lee served a total of two-and-a-half years in prison after his defense attorney failed to adequately show that he had been applying the brake on his vehicle the whole time. In the wake of a number of unintended acceleration claims on similar Toyota
vehicles and increasing outcry for his release (including a big ABC News feature
), Lee's case was reopened. In four days of testimony, his new counsel had a series of drivers who had experience unintended acceleration in their Toyotas
take the stand. Eventually, the
presiding judge heard enough and released Lee
prosecutor dropped the charges against Lee.
Lee served two-and-a-half years of an eight-year sentence for vehicular homicide after his first attorney actually suggested to the jury that Lee could have mistaken the accelerator for the brake pedal. Combined with the defendant's limited English and the fact that few people had heard of unintended acceleration at the time of the first trail, the judge sentenced Lee to the maximum penalty under the law. Now that he's been released, Lee says that he'll focus on getting to know the youngest of his four children. Thanks for the tip, Brian!
[Source: AOL Autos
| Image: Ben Garvin/Associated Press]