Drug Experts, Family Testify In Kerry Kennedy Trial

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Bedford resident Kerry Kennedy (center) exits the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains Tuesday following the second day of her trial. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The prosecution called its final witnesses and the defense began in the second day of Bedford resident Kerry Kennedy's trial in White Plains Tuesday.

Kennedy is facing one charge of driving while ability impaired from drugs, stemming from a July 2012 accident in North Castle. Kennedy, who is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, niece of John F. Kennedy and ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has pleaded not guilty. She says that she accidentally took a sleeping pill before getting in her car.

The jury heard testimony from New York State Police Trooper Bradley Molloy and Elizabeth Spratt, a forensic toxicologist at the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research. Molloy was called to the scene of the accident as a drug recognition expert after Kennedy failed field sobriety tests but registered no alcohol in her system.

Molloy said that Kennedy passed several drug tests administered at the police station hours after the accident. He said that he did not think she was impaired by drugs or alcohol, and thought she might have had some kind of medical condition such as a stroke or seizure. He also testified that Kennedy told him she might have accidentally mixed up her sleep medication and her thyroid medication.

Spratt testified on the effects of the sleep medication zolpidem, which she said typically begin to show with 15 to 45 minutes after ingesting the medication. She said that the effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, as well as some amnesia. She testified that she could not say when the effects may have started to hit Kennedy, or if Kennedy became aware of the side effects of zolpidem once they began to manifest themselves.

Following Spratt's testimony, Kennedy's defense lawyers tried once again to have the case dismissed. The prosecution has said that Kennedy should have pulled her car over once she became aware of the effects of the sleeping medication. Kennedy's defense lawyers argued that the prosecution's witnesses were unable to provide any evidence that Kennedy was aware that she had taken the wrong pill, and that the jury was being asked to speculate. The motion was denied by Judge Robert Neary.

The defense brought in a couple character witnesses to testify on Kennedy's reputation for honesty and sobriety. Rev. Gerard Creedon, a pastor at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City, VA has known Kennedy since she was 13 years old, when she was living in Virginia. He spoke about her humanitarian work, and said that he had never heard anyone say a bad word about her honesty or sobriety.

Kennedy's younger sister, Rory Kennedy, also testified on behalf of the defense. She said that Kerry was her godmother and best friend, and that she was dedicated to truthfulness and healthy living.

The trial will resume Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

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Comments (7)

Arizona:

I respect this judge for not allowing the usual Kennedy-Camelot bullshit and sideshow.
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread."

Activist Bill:

Kerry Kennedy is guilty as charged and I hope the jury will do the right thing and not let the Kennedy legal team intimidate them.
If Kerry was an "average person", she'd be penalized the maximum. And if she was a black person, she'd be in jail since her arrest, awaiting the trial.

Forall1:

I think that this is way out of hand.I had the same thing happen with medication.My eyesight isn't as good as it use to be,and I had mistaken one pill for another.I went out to my appointment and started to not feel well and went home.I'm sure I'm not the only one.The medication Kerry Kennedy took can take effect pretty fast,and If taken unknown before driving can cause Amnesia,or a drunk like effect.I'm glad no one was hurt.I believe her.

joan.vankleeck:

That Judge is to be admired for standing up for Justice. It will be interesting to see if she survives ?

bill10526:

There is a fascinating physiological condition for the human body, the ability to fall asleep. A few years ago I had a medical problem that restricted my sleep to about 90 minutes at a time. What a relief when I could get a 4 hour block of sound sleep. The body can literally flick a switch and put a person to sleep. There is a fancy name for people who just fall asleep in an instant. I suspect that many if not most of the DWI fatalities are due to the falling asleep problem. After a night of drinking is late at night. I was not drinking, but I was very tired when I fell asleep on the Taconic. The washboard along the side of the road woke me up and really scared me.

Talk of knowing that one can tell when one is about to shut off, except for being fatigued, are misguided in my opinion. Ms. Kennedy had an accident. Let's celebrate the result of no one getting hurt or killed.

No one dislikes Robert Kennedy Jr. more than I. But one's bias for or against Kennedys should be set aside in this case.

tjkoovalloor:

In america Justice is served only to Certain well known families only. No Justice to immigrants or minorities. This legal system has to be changed, and we are demanding Equal justice for all.

Misscharlotte107:

Kerry Kennedy can bring the Pope in to testify as a character witness, the issue is: she could have killed someone while she was sleep driving!!!!
She carelessly and irresponsibly took the wrong medication then drove her car.
She has to be treated as any other irresponsible person........jail time, re-hab, a large fine and or public service for 24 months. ENOUGH with the Kennedy wining poor me stories......

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