Tulsa suspect in driving death not fit for trial
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
11/14/12 at 2:52 AM
A Tulsa woman who is charged with vehicular manslaughter and a string of related counts is not competent to be prosecuted at this time, a judge has ruled.
Tulsa County District Judge William Kellough on Tuesday ordered Kristen Lynn Smith, 28, committed to the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita for mental health treatment.
A conference to evaluate Smith's status is scheduled for May 6. She has been in the Tulsa Jail since June 4, records show.
Prosecutors charged Smith with first-degree manslaughter, alleging that a woman was fatally injured when Smith drove while under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances on Interstate 244 near Sheridan Road on June 3, court records show.
A 2003 Mitsubishi driven by Smith was headed east when it left its lane and struck an eastbound 2001 Chevrolet sport utility vehicle, crashed into a retaining wall and then left the scene, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.
The SUV rolled multiple times, and some occupants - including passenger Maria Lopez - were ejected, the OHP reported. Lopez, 65, of Tulsa, died from her injuries.
Police located the Mitsubishi, with Smith and her 8-year-old son inside, about five miles from the crash scene, according to reports.
In addition to manslaughter, Smith is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal collision, child endangerment, DUI, driving with a suspended or revoked license, five counts of causing a collision that resulted in personal or great bodily injury while without a valid driver's license, and other driving and license-related counts.
Defense attorney Rob Nigh applied for a determination of competency, asserting that upon meeting Smith, he "immediately had concerns that Ms. Smith suffered from a mental illness," a court document says.
Dr. Curtis Grundy, a psychologist retained by the defense, evaluated Smith and found that she was experiencing "acute symptoms of bipolar disorder."
Based on Grundy's report, Kellough found that Smith is incompetent but appears capable of reaching competence within a reasonable amount of time with treatment.
Original Print Headline: Suspect in death not fit for trial
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Kristen Lynn Smith: In addition to manslaughter, Smith is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal collision, child endangerment, DUI, driving with a suspended or revoked license, five counts of causing a collision that resulted in personal or great bodily injury while without a valid driver's license, and other driving and license-related counts