NORFOLK---A jury on Monday found a 26-year-old man not guilty of aggravated involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 drunken driving crash that killed two passengers.
According to the Virginian Pilot, Richard Freeman, an enlisted Navy sailor, was also found not guilty on two counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and maiming.
The verdict came after a week of testimony, the surprise discovery of HRT video of the crash and questions about the thoroughness of the investigation, according to the Pilot.
Freeman testified he had been drinking at Red Dog Saloon in Ghent on July 24, 2009. He said he stopped, sobered up and offered four strangers a ride home at closing time. The group was noticeably drunk, he told jurors.
During the ride home up Granby Street, the backseat passengers "acted up" and just over the Granby Street bridge, something struck him sharp in the jaw, he stated.
"There is reasonable doubt about what happened in that car," attorney Andrew Sacks argued to jurors.
The jury agreed and came back with the not guilty verdict.
Two passengers died at the scene -- Cameron Richardson and Lauren Kok; one remains hospitalized in critical condition; a fourth and Freeman were treated for minor injuries.