Man could get 1 year in death of teen on I-95 Guilty of drinking, driver acquitted of manslaughter

July 14, 1998|By Dana Hedgpeth | Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF

Howard County Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure ruled yesterday that Donald S. Jackson was not responsible for the death of Monyneath Phorn in August, but was guilty of driving while intoxicated.

Jackson, 35, a Defense Department employee, was charged with manslaughter by vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of Phorn, 18, of Arlington, Va. Phorn was struck and killed by a car while walking on the shoulder of Interstate 95.

Jackson will be sentenced Sept. 11 and could receive up to a year in jail.

During the weeklong trial, prosecutors said that on the night of the accident, Aug. 29, Jackson had been drinking after playing golf before he drove north on I-95 about 11 p.m. Assistant State's Attorney Christine Gage said that Jackson's car struck Phorn, who was walking along the side of the road with her boyfriend, and that Jackson drove two miles before stopping.

Jackson pleaded not guilty to the charges. His defense focused on challenging the investigation of the accident.

Gage said that on the night of the accident, Jackson, carrying a cellular telephone, pulled over two miles up I-95, just south of Route 100, and ran to a state trooper's vehicle. He told the trooper that a pedestrian may have been struck. Troopers noted the smell of alcohol on his breath and damage to his vehicle.

Tests after Jackson's arrest showed that his blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit.

Pub Date: 7/14/98

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