Archive for Tuesday, February 5, 2013

KU student appears in court on charges filed after accident in which another student lost his legs

February 5, 2013


A 22-year-old Kansas University student pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second offense of DUI in a case filed in connection with an Aug. 26 accident that cost another student his legs.

Julian Kuszmaul, who appeared Tuesday afternoon in Douglas County District Court, also is charged with drug possession and following a vehicle too closely.

Test results showed Kuszmaul's blood-alcohol was 0.25 — three times the legal limit of 0.08 — when his Ford Explorer struck and pinned 18-year-old Colby Liston between Kuszmaul's vehicle and another. The vehicle Liston was standing behind was illegally parked in a driving lane of the 1600 block of Tennessee Street. Following the accident, both of Liston's legs were amputated above the knee.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson has said state law would not permit his office to file more serious charges.

Kuszmaul could face up to a year in jail on the misdemeanor DUI charge. Bond was set Tuesday at $1,500 and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 5.

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mae 5 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence mafia? Chop off a kids legs above the knees so he'll never walk again and pay $1500, take a year off that we pay for, misdemeanor.

Colt Haines 5 years, 1 month ago

It's very unfortunate that a kid will go the rest of his life without his real legs and the person that hit him will only get a year in jail...I feel that drunk driving is just not taken seriously enough. It shouldn't have to take someone 2 or more DUI's before they get serious jail time.

arylwren 5 years, 1 month ago

Could someone explain to me the reason for pleading "not guilty" to the 2nd DUI offense instead of "no contest" when they have your BAC from the time of the accident and your past record showing a prior DUI? To me, it seems more "strategic" to plead no contest. Are 2nd offense DUIs really that easy to get out of? Seems like you would plead down instead of not guilty.

Also, any word on the driver that was parked illegally being charged with anything? I missed the article if there was one.

bad_dog 5 years, 1 month ago

They may intend to contest the validity of the BAC readings or have some other evidentiary issues or defenses to raise. The fact the defendant has a prior DUI conviction has nothing to do with the merits of this case.

The driver of the illegally parked car may have gotten a ticket, but I haven't seen anything here about it.

arylwren 5 years, 1 month ago

Interesting. I didn't know people still contested BAC readings, although I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I figured the prior DUI factored in because it said he was pleading not guilty to "a second offense of DUI". Semantic ambiguity to due my lack of DUI experience/law knowledge. Thanks for the info!

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