A 25-year-old motorist was found guilty of misdemeanor negligent manslaughter and reckless driving charges on Friday following a jury trial regarding the May 2020 crash.
Aaron Jacob Windsor had been charged with a felony manslaughter offense and other counts after the crash, which left Marc Allen Guetschoff, a 61-year-old motorcycle driver, dead.
Police said after the crash that Windsor, then 24, had been traveling north in a pickup truck on Three Notch Road, at its intersection with Hermanville Road, and made a left-hand turn onto Hermanville Road when he collided with Guetschoff, who had been traveling south on a motorcycle and had the right of way.
During the trial last week, prosecutor Laura Caspar said she argued Windsor had been attempting to “beat the bike” during the left-hand turn by cutting the intersection short, but was not able to get certain “state of mind” evidence to prove that.
She said Windsor had cut the intersection short to the point where the truck would have been in the left side of Hermanville Road if it had not hit Guetschoff and a pole.
A defense expert “claimed that was not correct.”
Windsor’s defense attorney, public defender Zain Shirazi, did not answer a call for comment this week.
To convict on the felony manslaughter count, Caspar said she had to prove Windsor saw “the danger and disregard[ed] it,” but for the misdemeanor offense he was ultimately convicted of, she proved he “disregarded possible danger” by making the turn.
After deliberations, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the felony manslaughter count, but guilty on misdemeanor criminally negligent manslaughter and reckless driving.
Marijuana charges from pot seized at the location were eventually dropped by prosecutors because there were no signs of Windsor being impaired, Caspar said.
St. Mary’s Circuit Judge David W. Densford, who presided over the case, ordered for a presentence investigation to be completed before Windsor’s sentencing is scheduled. Densford also scheduled for a bail review to be held next Monday to determine if Windsor can leave the detention center, where he has been held for nearly a year, prior to his sentencing.
Jury drops sole assault charge
In an unrelated case last month, a jury returned a verdict of not guilty on a lone first-degree assault charge against Tyrell Marquice Birdine, who had initially been charged with first-degree murder.
The case revolved around the death of Twain Harrod in September last year, where police said Birdine and his alleged accomplice, Delante Javon Holley, had beaten Harrod to the point where he suffered traumatic brain injuries and later died.
Holley pleaded guilty in April to first-degree assault and was sentenced to 25 years, suspended down to 15 years, along with five years of probation.
Birdine elected to take the case to trial, which prosecutors elected to run on a lone count of first-degree assault, noting at Holley’s plea hearing it would be difficult to prove the men’s intent to kill Harrod.
Jurors returned a verdict of not guilty to the assault charge. Holley was briefly charged with intimidating a witness in a separate case related to the incident, but that charge was later dropped.