JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Karen Irby originally faced up to two life sentences for depraved heart murder. The Hinds County District Attorney said the charges were reduced because of errors in the initial Jackson Police Investigation. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith said his office had to ask Jackson police to re-examine that accident scene.
Friday we talked with JPD Assistant Chief Lee Vance about why these mistakes were made and if they were intentional. Karen Irby admits she is guilty of culpable negligent manslaughter each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
That's a significant difference from the original charges of depraved heart murder which could have put Irby behind bars for life. District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith said charges were reduced because JPD's initial investigation was flawed.
"We were surprised that the calculations were not there and the photos were not there, indicating striations from yaw marks and skid marks. So we had to request that the investigation be done again," said Smith.
According to the original investigation, Irby was speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash that killed Doctor Mark Pogue and Doctor Lisa Dedousis. The second report revealed Irby was traveling around 70 miles an hour.
"We have individuals who have had specialized training in investigating fatalities. The officer that was dispatched to this particular wreck has this particular training," said JPD Assistant Chief Lee Vance.
JPD has launched an internal investigation into why such blatant mistakes were made and if they were on purpose. "If we find rather that there was some type of willful miscalculations made then we'll take appropriate action. If we find that it was simply a mistake then we'll take whatever action is dictated by that," said Vance. "At this point I can't tell you 100% one way or the other."
Assistant Chief Lee Vance said the officer responsible for the mistakes in the initial report will no longer be investigating fatal wrecks.
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