- - Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Charges dismissed in fatal Lexus crash

LOS ANGELES | Prosecutors dismissed charges of reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter against a Southern California woman who blamed her deadly Lexus crash on a mechanical malfunction.

Safety recalls by Toyota Motor Corp., which manufactures Lexus cars, would make it difficult to win a conviction against Unmi Suk Chung, 62, Los Angeles County district attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said Wednesday.

Mrs. Chung claimed her Lexus RX330 sport utility vehicle suddenly sped out of control and the brakes failed before she crashed on Interstate 10 in West Los Angeles two years ago.

The crash killed Mrs. Chung’s sister-in-law, Esook Synn, 69, who was in the back seat. A surviving passenger told investigators that Mrs. Chung had screamed “No brakes” several times before the crash.

She faced up to six years in state prison if convicted. The charges were dismissed on Oct. 19 before trial.


Instructor charged in husband’s death

BALTIMORE | A University of Maryland writing instructor has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband at their southern Maryland home.

Joanna J. Findlay, 40, a native of Scotland, was teaching two classes this fall at the university’s College Park campus.

She was being held without bail. According to the county sheriff’s office, Ms. Findlay shot her husband, Gary A. Trogdon, 55, during a domestic dispute Saturday night at their home in Hollywood.

Ms. Findlay called 911 first to report the dispute, said Cindy Allen, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. Mr. Trogdon then called to report that his wife had shot him, and the final call from him was abruptly disconnected, Ms. Allen said.

Deputies responded and found Mr. Trogdon dead from a gunshot wound. Ms. Findlay reported that she had taken several antidepressant pills and wanted to commit suicide, Ms. Allen said.


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