Prosecutor: Limited Opporunities to Appeal Case

By: News Ten
By: News Ten

LANSING - Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III says he would have a difficult time appealing a decision that dismissed charges against a driver who struck and seriously injured a state police trooper in September 2011. On February 14th, during the trial of the driver, Mark Kollar, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina issued a "directed verdict" dismissing the two criminal charges against Kollar. On Friday, Prosecutor Dunnings issued a written statement saying, "There are limited opportunities to appeal a decision of this nature. A judicial directed verdict for 'insufficient evidence' is considered to be an acquittal, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that acquittals can not be appealed even if they are 'based upon an egregiously erroneous foundation.' {Fong Foo vs. United States, 1962}"

Dunnings says he will review the trial transcript to determine if there are any other legal issues that would be a basis for an appeal.

Kollar was on trial for causing serious personal injury during an auto accident and failing to use proper care while passing an emergency vehicle (the patrol car).

Trooper Drew Spencer, of the Lansing Post, was struck by a car Kollar was driving, while he was walking back to his patrol car on I-96 near Webberville. Spencer was hospitalized for three-weeks, and required months of rehabilitation.

During Kollar's trial, his lawyer argued that information from a "black box" that recorded information from Kollar's car was not given to him for his own expert to examine. The prosecution said that Kollar did not ask for the box, only all the information that was extracted from it. The prosecution also says their case was weakened when two civilian witnesses changed their story when testifying at the trial.

Kollar's attorney says this was an unfortunate accident, that Kollar was tested for drugs and alcohol and nothing was in his system. His phone was checked, and he had not been using it. Kollar's lawyer says that car in front of him broke sharply, and that is why he lost control.


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