Woman convicted of manslaughter

July 21, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Carroll County Circuit Court jury deliberated for four hours Friday before convicting a 41-year-old Owings Mills woman of manslaughter by automobile and related charges.

Katya Malahova, a 15-year-old girl visiting from Moscow, died July 9, 1995, in the one-car accident when a Nissan driven by Stella Natarova, her mother's longtime friend, skidded and veered off Deer Park Road near Gamber and slammed into a pine tree.

The victim and her mother, Rimma Malahova, and Natarova's daughter Rita, 15, were passengers in the car.

Rimma Malahova was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was treated for severe injuries and was discharged about a month later. Natarova and her daughter sustained minor injuries.

Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. set sentencing for Oct. 9.

Malahova, who returned from Moscow to testify through an interpreter during the three-day trial, told the jury that she and her daughter were visiting Natarova for a month. She said Natarova was upset as they and the two girls left Baltimore County to visit a friend in Carroll County.

Prosecutor David P. Daggett said the main issue in the trial was whether there was gross negligence, which state law defines as wanton or reckless disregard for the life or property of others.

Tfc. Dave Brauning, an accident reconstruction specialist for the Maryland State Police, testified that he calculated that Natarova's Nissan was traveling 75 mph before it struck the tree.

Defense attorney Harvey K. Maizels said Natarova admitted she was driving about 60 mph. But, he added, "Negligence is not gross negligence."

Pub Date: 7/21/96

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