Courts frustrate victim She lost a leg when car hit her BALTIMORE COUNTY

December 03, 1992|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

Kim Boyce smiled and said she was determined to walk again, determined to recover from the life-threatening injuries that cost her part of a leg. She described her dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher and, eventually, having a child of her own.

A few hours later she left a courtroom in tears, frustrated at the latest delay in the court system's handling of the man charged with driving while drunk and running her down.

The 22-year-old Towson woman, who was struck by a car in July in Canton, went to court hoping that Brian L. Yeager, 21, of Dundalk, would be punished. She likened her hospital stay to a jail term. If she did four months, she said, he should do at least as much. Others should be deterred.

By the time she left the District Court building on Wabash Avenue last night, she was just hoping the case would be resolved, one way or another, before Christmas.

"It's ridiculous that they're going to keep this thing going," she said. "I'm sick of having to come here and having to wonder what's going to happen."

She'd hoped for an answer in September, but the trial was postponed.

She hoped for an answer yesterday, when the trial began and witnesses testified, but a judge ruled prosecutors could have time to respond to a defense motion to dismiss the charges against Mr. Yeager.

No date was set for resuming the trial.

It's been nearly five months since that night on Boston Street. Ms. Boyce had been hired to work as a "Cold Patrol Girl," handing out key chains promoting beer.

She and two other women had just collected the trinkets from a station wagon when she was struck by a car driven by Mr. Yeager, crushing her right leg.

"I felt the hit and I felt the pain. I was aware and I saw my legs just crumble," she said. "They were flattened."

Her right leg was amputated above the knee.

As Ms. Boyce spoke yesterday, Leonard H. Shapiro, the attorney representing Mr. Yeager, wished her well.

Then he went into court to tangle with prosecutor Alex Yankelove.

Mr. Yankelove wanted to show a videotape made by a television news crew of Mr. Yeager's performance in field sobriety tests. Arguing that the prosecutor had failed to present a witness to say whether the tape had been edited, Mr. Shapiro convinced Judge T. Shelton Price to reject the tape as evidence.

Although his client was found to have a blood alcohol level of .11 percent -- above the legal limit of .10 percent -- Mr. Shapiro successfully argued that his client could not be legally presumed to have been drunk because police failed to meet a requirement to test him within two hours of his being detained.

After the prosecutor rested his case, Mr. Shapiro raised a new issue: He said the state had charged Mr. Yeager with driving while intoxicated and under the influence of alcohol and drugs in a single count. Thus, he said, the charges should be dismissed because the state had to prove all the elements to gain a conviction and no evidence of drug use had been presented.

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