Friday, August 06, 2010


Koua Fong Lee: A free man after 2.5 years in prison for fatal Toyota crash
"It is not a dream."

That's how Koua Fong Lee responded Thursday afternoon when asked how it felt to have his wife's hands clasped around his arm at a St. Paul hotel, to have her stand next to him and to feel her touch after two years and seven months in prison. And after thinking he would spend several more years away from her and their four children.

"Sometimes, when I was sleeping in the cot, I dreamed (I was at home), and then I woke up still in the little room," he said, as his wife, Panghoua Moua, leaned her head against his shoulder and protested, "No. ..."

"But now," Lee said, "my dream has come true."
He always said he was innocent; now he's free
After Ramsey County District Judge Joanne Smith ruled that Lee is entitled to a new trial, County Attorney Susan Gaertner said there would be no retrial and no appeal.

There are still unanswered questions here, not the least of which is why the County Prosecutors would so vigorously proceed in a case where it was pretty clear the driver, Lee, had no reason or intent to cause this accident. It was simply that, an accident, a tragic loss of life due to factors beyond human control.

May all those involved find peace in their lives as we move on from this tragedy.


CNN posts the story on their front page:
Minnesota judge frees man convicted in acceleration crash of Toyota
(CNN) -- A Minnesota man sent to prison after the deadly sudden-acceleration crash of his Toyota Camry has been freed by a judge, and the local prosecutor says he will not be retried.

Ramsey County, Minnesota, District Court Judge Joanne Smith on Thursday ordered Koua Fong Lee released from prison pending a new trial related to the 2006 crash that killed three people. Ramsey County Prosecutor Susan Gaertner immediately said she would drop the charges.

"Mr. Lee will be a free man," Gaertner said in a written statement.

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