Jury convicts woman in fatal Colorado taxi crash
Associated Press Writer
DENVER – A Denver jury convicted a woman accused of driving drunk and killing two Connecticut librarians when she crashed into the taxi that was taking them to the airport after a convention.
Jurors deliberated less than a day before delivering their verdict Wednesday in the trial of 41-year-old Sandra Jacobson. Investigators told jurors Jacobson’s blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit several hours after the crash that killed 71-year-old Kate McClelland and 54-year-old Kathleen Krasniewicz, both from Greenwich, Conn.
Jacobson was handcuffed and led away by sheriff’s deputies after the verdict. Crying and trembling, she glanced briefly at her family before she was escorted out of the courtroom.
Jacobson’s attorney, Charles Elliott, said Jacobson would appeal the verdict.
Jacobson was convicted of two counts of vehicular homicide, assault, drunken driving and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. Sentencing is June 4.
Outside the courtroom, McClelland’s daughter, Lauren McCLelland Mendoza of New Fairfield, Conn., thanked Denver police and prosecutors for their work.
“We now hope to be able to begin the process of healing from our grievous loss,” McClelland said.
Jacobson admitted she was drunk that day, but that she had consumed alcohol after the crash. She testified that after the crash she had a banana schnapps mixed with vitamin water – what she referred to as a “road pop.”
Jacobson told investigators she had a “NyQuil addiction,” which Elliott said was a half truth. During the trial, Elliott said Jacobson was sober at the time of the accident but had alcohol in her system because of the cocktail she consumed after the crash.
Jacobson also said she didn’t realize she had hit the librarians’ taxi so she kept driving to the airport to ship a puppy, named Baxter, to her brother in Dallas. Her defense attorneys also tried to blame the crash on the taxi driver and said the librarians had been ejected from the car because they weren’t wearing their seat belts.
Prosecutors described Jacobson as unrepentant after the crash, saying she never said she was sorry after learning the crash killed two women. Police said she was driving with a suspended license at the time.
Investigators also said she was driving 85 mph at the time of the accident, and that she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 and had difficulty keeping her balance more than five hours after the crash.