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Trial postponed for Hagerstown woman charged in vehicle death

July 19, 2010|By DON AINES

HAGERSTOWN -- The trial of a Hagerstown woman charged with negligent homicide by vehicle in the death of a New York man has been delayed because, while the autopsy has been completed, the autopsy report has not, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

Tontalayia L. Sneed, 21, of 1021 E. Noland Drive, was indicted in March in the death of Jeremy D. Hollins, who was killed in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 81 north of Halfway Boulevard at about 4 a.m. on Feb. 12, according to Maryland State Police. The continuance was granted by Judge W. Kennedy Boone III on Friday, court records said.

Sneed was scheduled to go on trial Monday. She was indicted by a grand jury on two counts each of negligent homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and driving under the influence; and one count each of negligent homicide while driving impaired, negligent manslaughter by vehicle, driving while impaired, negligent driving, reckless driving, driving without a license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.

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In his request for a continuance, Deputy State's Attorney Steven C. Kessell, wrote that the state had made written requests on May 3 and June 30 to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for a copy of the autopsy report.

"The State was just advised on July 15, 2010, that while the autopsy has been completed, the report itself has not yet been prepared and signed off on by a medical examiner," Kessell wrote in the motion for continuance. Because of that, the state has been unable to designate an expert witness to testify in the case, or comply with discovery requirements before the Monday trial date, the motion said.

Loren Villa, the attorney for Sneed, did not oppose the request for a continuance, the motion said.

Hollins was a passenger in the 2001 Impala that crashed on Interstate 81, state police said at the time of the accident. The driver of the vehicle was not immediately identified, but the grand jury indictment named Sneed as the driver of the vehicle in which Hollins was killed.

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