Mistrial declared in case of Knoxville truck driver

Mistrial declared in case of Knoxville truck driver charged in deadly crash

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Darold Reimer faces charges of reckless homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in connection with a deadly 2012 crash. Darold Reimer faces charges of reckless homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in connection with a deadly 2012 crash.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the trial for a Knoxville truck driver accused of homicide in a 2012 crash that killed a Lenoir City teaching assistant after the jury deadlocked on all charges.

Closing arguments were held Tuesday morning in the case against Darold Reimer. The jury received the case shortly thereafter.

Jurors told the judge just after 1 p.m. that they could not decide on a verdict. The judge sent them back to deliberate more, but an hour later, they still had not reached a verdict.

Police say Reimer was driving one of two semis that collided in May 2012 near the Campbell Station exit on I-40. Reimer's truck landed on a car killing Kim Townson, 42. Townson was a Lenoir City High School special education teaching assistant. She had worked there for nine years.

The family of Kim Townson sat in the courtroom as the attorneys gave their closing arguments to the jurors. Jeff Russell is Kim Townson's brother.

"We are here for her because she's not here to speak for herself so we are here to support her," said Jeff Russell.

During closing arguments, the state argued their case, saying Reimer was driving recklessly and should be convicted of vehicular homicide.

"He has put himself in the right hand lane, the slow lane. He was speeding and in his own words gets into an emergency situation that leads to this accident," said Assistant Attorney General Ken Irvine.

The defense argued that the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Reimer was driving recklessly, so he must be found not guilty.

"Improper passing, following too closely things like this, this sounds like a civil case to me it doesn't sound like enough to put it into the criminal realm," said defense attorney Keith Lieberman.

After three and a half hours and one question about the definition of reckless, the jurors couldn't agree. The judge declared it a mistrial.

Darold Reimer showed no emotion as the foreperson told the judge their decision, but Kim's brother was hoping for a different outcome. He wanted the jurors to find Reimer guilty on all counts.

"Just a little satisfaction that the justice system does work," said Russell.

Another hearing is scheduled  November 7, where the state may decide to have a retrial. Until then the family will wait, hope for justice and hold on to the memories of Kim Townson.

"I miss her miss her a lot," said Russell.

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