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The Daily Tar Heel

Kania trial continues with testimonies from a forensic scientist and state troopers

Authorities say Kania was driving drunk on the wrong side of Interstate 85 in July 2015 when he was involved in a head-on collision, killing three people and injuring a fourth.

Kania pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and one count of reckless driving, though he pleaded guilty to other charges.

Capt. Joel Massey of the Orange Rural Fire Department testified about removing the one surviving victim, a nine-year-old, from the Suzuki that Kania allegedly hit.

“I directed the two guys with me to begin patient care, the patient (Jahnia King) hanging out of the car was moved to the ground,” Massey said. “I checked the pulses of the three victims in the car, but did not feel any.”

He said the driver of the Jeep, Kania, was conscious, breathing, yelling and honking his horn.

“The driver was intentionally blowing his horn and yelling at us,” he said. “He kept yelling, ‘Is someone going to fucking help me?’”

After removing Kania from the Jeep and putting him on the backboard, Massey said he removed the three victims who had not survived — Darlene McGee, Felecia Harris and Harris’ six-year-old granddaughter Jahnice Beard —and placed them in body bags.

Kania was treated by Orange County EMS paramedic Justin Tuttle. Tuttle said he took a blood sample from Kania while in the ambulance, and Kania was cooperative about the test.

Andrew Young, a forensic scientist at the N.C. Crime Lab, testified that when running tests on Kania’s blood, he found the sample had a blood alcohol content of .17. The blood also tested positive for marijuana.

Sgt. Michael Stuart said he arrived at the scene and took possession of a case of beer found in the Jeep and an urn found in the Suzuki driven by the victims.

A test run of the drive performed by Stuart determined that at 2 a.m., with light traffic, the drive from Sigma Phi Epsilon to the location of the crash took about 27 minutes, he said.

The jury was then presented 13 photos of the crash. They depicted the crash, including a beer can that had landed in the opposite highway lane and the rear of the Jeep on top of the guard rail.

The entire crash reconstruction report, written by Trooper Fred Trueblood, was introduced by assistant district attorney Jeff Nieman.

Defense attorney Roger Smith objected to the introduction because of concerns that there is evidence in the report that was specifically excluded.

Trueblood testified using information from this report, which created a timeline using information from text messages and cameras. This information puts Kania at La Residence Restaurant from 12:56 to 1:21 a.m.

The last text sent from Kania’s phone before the crash was at 2:12 a.m.


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