- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—HILLSBOROUGH — An Orange County judge denied an attorney’s request Monday to lower the bail for a drunken-driving defendant accused of killing three people July 19.

Bail for Chandler Kania, 20, of Asheboro, was set at $1 million Friday.

Kania’s attorney asked Judge Charles Anderson to reduce his bail to $250,000. Anderson denied the motion, assistant district attorney Jeff Neiman said, butthe judge indicated he might be more amenable to a lower bail if it were combined with a stay at some sort of inpatient treatment facility.

Kania is accused of driving northbound in the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 near the Interstate 40 split when he collided head-on with a Suzuki.

Three people in the Suzuki were killed instantly: the driver, Felecia Harris, 49, of Charlotte; a front-seat passenger, Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte; and Jahnice Baird, 6, Brooklyn, N.Y., who was riding in the back seat.

A second child, 9-year-old Jahnia King, also of Charlotte, was critically injured and taken to UNC Hospitals; she was released Thursday. Kania also was taken to UNC Hospitals for treatment of injuries that included two broken ankles.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Kania had a fake ID that he apparently used to be served at one or more bars before the accident. Woodall told a judge Thursday that Kania’s friends had tried to talk him out of driving that night.

Kania is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, one count of serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, possessing an open container of alcohol, possession of alcohol by a person under age 21 and driving by a person less than 21 years old after consuming alcohol.

UNC records indicate Kania would have been a junior in the university’s advertising program this fall.

News agencies also reported this week that Kania appeared two years ago in a homemade public-service video about the dangers of texting and driving (nando.com/1oq). The YouTube video shows Kania driving his red Jeep Wrangler and texting a friend in another car about meeting at school.

The friend never arrives; the video ends with the message: “Your life is more important than a text message.”

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb


(c)2015 The Chapel Hill News (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

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