Pubdate: Fri, 28 Jan 2005
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2005 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Adam Kovac, Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


More tests were needed to show an Algonquin man had drugs in his
system when he drove his car into oncoming traffic, killing a mother
and her unborn son, a forensics expert said Thursday.

And despite the results, they wouldn't tell if Brandon Carone was high
on cocaine at the time of the March 7, 2003, crash, said David
Stafford, the former director of the University of Tennessee's
pathology and toxicology department.

"It says this individual has been exposed to cocaine sometime in the
past, but you don't know when," Stafford told a Kane County judge.

Stafford's testimony highlighted the fourth and final day of Carone's
trial in the death of 31-year-old Kimberly Morvay of West Dundee. She
was 10 weeks pregnant.

Carone, 20, faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of reckless
homicide, reckless homicide of an unborn child and other offenses for
the crash on Randall Road in Dundee Township.

Investigators maintain Carone was high on cocaine and other drugs.
They also say he was speeding and may have fallen asleep when he
crossed the median and plowed into Morvay head on, according to
earlier testimony.

In their closing arguments, prosecutors repeatedly said the details of
the crash point to Carone's drug use as a factor in the crash, which
occurred soon after he pleaded guilty to a drug charge in Lake County.

"Why is the defendant driving in this manner ... driving into other
lanes?" Assistant States Attorney Christine Bayer said. "Because he's
under the influence of drugs."

Stafford testified on behalf of defense lawyers, who dispute the
reliability of urinalysis tests that detected drugs in Carone's
system. The test results were a key element of the trial.

Attorney Timothy Mahoney also said because of the possible inaccuracy
of the testing, Carone's speeding or dozing off at the wheel does not
mean he was driving dangerously.

"Negligence and tragedy can never elevate to a criminal act," Mahoney
said in his closing arguments. "Can never elevate to reckless homicide."

Clad in a gray suit, Carone declined to testify on his

He glanced several times at relatives, who sat in the same row of
benches as members of Morvay's family.

Judge Patricia Piper Golden, who is presiding over the bench trial,
agreed to drop some of the reckless homicide and DUI charges on the
basis that there was not enough evidence. However, most of the charges
against Carone remained.

Golden is expected to issue her verdict Wednesday.

Carone is jailed on $250,000 bond. He also faces a civil lawsuit filed
by Morvay's family.

Trial: Ruling is expected Wednesday.
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