Archive for Monday, November 14, 2011

Douglas County jurors convict man of hitting his estranged wife with car

November 14, 2011, 11:45 a.m. Updated November 14, 2011, 2:19 p.m.


A Douglas County jury Monday convicted a 35-year-old Lawrence man of intentional aggravated battery for hitting his estranged wife with a car last summer.

Catherine Decena Skinner, an assistant Douglas County district attorney, told jurors in closing arguments that Michael C. Pringle struck his wife, Melissa Pringle, in a Holcom Park parking lot July 11 after they had a heated argument at one of their son’s T-ball games. The Pringles are divorcing, attorneys said.

Skinner said two women testified that they saw Michael Pringle drive toward the woman, causing her to fall down and injuring her elbow and knee.

“The facts in this case are what they are,” Skinner told jurors. “Facts are stubborn things, and they cannot be ignored.”

But defense attorney Michael Tubbs said testimony was inconsistent with original statements given to police, and he said the pending divorce was why Melissa Pringle made the accusations against her husband.

Tubbs also said Michael Pringle testified he drove slowly from the parking lot without knowing he had struck her or caused her to fall.

“Worst case, this is a simply an accident; worst case, unbeknownst to Mr. Pringle,” Tubbs said.

Jurors deliberated for about three hours Monday before reaching a verdict, and they also found the crime to be an act of domestic violence. A domestic violence “tag” will be placed on his criminal record, under a provision of a recent Kansas law meant to track repeat domestic violence offenders. The legislation was named for Kansas University law student Jana Mackey, who was murdered in Lawrence in 2008.

District Judge Sally Pokorny is scheduled to sentence Michael Pringle on Dec. 12.


grimpeur 6 years, 2 months ago

Sickening. Another coward punk with a car who "didn't know" he ran over someone, "didn't see" his victim. She could have responded with equally deadly force, and probably should have.

Remember, future jurors, to believe this man didn't see the woman he was fighting with, especially if she was near his car, isn't really "reasonable," just like it's not really reasonable to decide that Scott Young, who ran over a cyclist last year after admittedly and intentionally harassing the group, didn't see the victim and didn't know he'd hit anyone, even though it can't be proven that he did or didn't see anything.

Of course he's going to say that. But to believe Young, you'd have to believe that he saw the group of cyclists, then--somehow, suddenly--didn't see them. Because then we must ask how in the heck that such a blind, inattentive person could get a driver's license. Sorry, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that he saw and drove at the rider. Too bad intentional, leaving the scene, assault, and worse weren't charged in that case.

I'll tell ya--I've about had it with drivers being allowed to get away with crimes by saying "I didn't see them." This automatically allows them to also get away with leaving the scene, assault, and other charges. And it has to change. Deliberately poor drivers, having violated laws of passing, due caution, and speed, or having used their vehicles as weapons of harassment, intimidation, or assault should absolutely not be able to use this excuse, and it should be removed from the discussion in these cases. Cowards.

oxandale 6 years, 2 months ago

I remember both Mike and Melissa (Missy) from highschool. He was popular, invovled in sports and always seemed to be a "nice guy". Missy was always very sweet, outgoing, and never had an ill word to anyone. Granted, it was highschool, and we all graduated back in 1994. So sad to hear how things have changed so drastically to where it is today.

life123 6 years, 2 months ago

She is lucky to be alive! Abusers never change. They are always sorry after the fact, until next time. I know this man. He puts on a great facade when he is around people that he is this quiet, nice guy. Behind doors he is a controlling, agressive person who is in NO way control of his emotions. Nothing is ever his fault. It's always someone else to blame for his lack of control, abusive behavior. His own Mother told him this was not his fault. "She should have stayed her ass in the stands!" This is why he repeats his crazy behavior! Guess 12 jurors found it to be his fault!!! It's about time he takes accountability for his actions. No one made him get in his car and hit his wife. The wisest thing she did was leaving him.

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