Archive for Saturday, October 5, 2002

Girl faces one adult, one juvenile charge

October 5, 2002

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A 17-year-old Lawrence girl is under house arrest after being charged Thursday in the death of a social worker struck by a car last month.

Ashleigh N. Juola was charged as an adult with driving under the influence of alcohol and as a juvenile with involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Juola is accused of hitting Heather Coulter, 24, Lawrence, with her car the night of Sept. 18. Coulter had been standing outside her stalled car on Iowa Street at 19th Street, police said. Coulter was taken to KU Med in Kansas City, Kan., where she died Sept. 24.

Police said the driver of the car that struck Coulter did not stop immediately after the incident and continued a short distance before stopping. Contacted Friday, Tim Riling, Juola's attorney, noted the girl was not charged with leaving the scene.

"It's a tragic set of circumstances all the way around," Riling said.

Coulter was an employee of The Farm Inc., a foster care firm with offices in Douglas County and Overland Park. She worked with foster children.

Juola was a Lawrence public school student but is not currently attending, a school district official said.

During an appearance Thursday before Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel, Juola was released on her own recognizance on the DUI charge. On the manslaughter charge, she was placed under house arrest to be monitored by Douglas County Youth Services.

Kansas law requires anyone over age 14 to be charged with DUI as an adult. The law requires anyone under age 18 to be charged with manslaughter as a juvenile.

Prosecutors can ask a judge to allow a juvenile to be charged with manslaughter as an adult. That option is being considered in Juola's case, Douglas County Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney said Friday.

"We will make a decision soon," Kenney said.

Coulter was buried a week ago in her hometown of Chanute. Her parents have declined to comment.

Juola's parents couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

Juola is to be back in court for a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 24.

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