Should Convicted North Dakota Drunk Driver in 2015 Fatal Crash Be Granted A New Trial?
One late evening/ early morning in June 2015, a car travelling on the Bismarck Expressway bridge was struck head-on by a vehicle that was traveling in the wrong direction. Three young women's lives were instantly changed forever because of a drunk driver. And the man who caused the crash received a heavy sentence.
Taylor Goven, of Mandan, and Abby Renschler, of Lincoln, both lost their lives in the wreck caused by Jason Morsette. Shayna Monson, of Dickinson, survived the crash, but she did suffer traumatic brain injuries. In 2016, the Bismarck Tribune reported that Morsette was sentenced to 25 years in prison and News Dakota later reported that Morsette was ordered to pay about one billion dollars in restitution. Now, it is reported that Morsette has appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court in hopes of being granted a new civil trial. Get the latest story on the case here.
According to the Bismarck Tribune, Morsette's attorney, Kay Nord Hunt, argues that Morsette's guilty admission of driving drunk should not have been held against him when he was sentenced because it was “only served to inflame the jury.” The attorney is basically arguing that the fact that Morsette was beyond drunk is not relevant to why the crash happened.
Original reports says that Morsette was struggling with mental health issues and self-medicating with alcohol. At the time of the crash, Morsette's blood alcohol content (BAC) was more than three times the legal limit. Not to mention, the fatal crash was not his first DUI charge.