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Woman sentenced to 215 years for crash deaths loses PCR appeal

December 10, 2015

A woman who drove the wrong way on State Road 67 near Martinsville and collided with a minivan killing a man and six children in 2000 lost her post-conviction relief appeal Thursday.

The Indiana Court of Appeals in a memorandum decision affirmed denial of post-conviction relief in Judy Kirby v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.), 55A01-1503-PC-85. The panel rejected claims that Kirby received ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. A jury sentenced Kirby to 215 years in prison after convicting her of seven counts of murder as felonies, four counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury as Class B felonies, and one count of aggravated battery as a class B felony.

Four children in Kirby’s car — including three of her own —were killed along with a man and his two children in the other vehicle.

Kirby’s sentence and convictions were affirmed by the Court of Appeals in 2002, and the Supreme Court denied a petition for transfer. Kirby was denied a new trial in March.
 
Judges Robert Altice and Elaine Brown concurred with the opinion written by Judge Patricia Riley but each wrote separately to conclude appellate counsel did not err in failing to challenge an erroneous jury instruction.

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