East Naples man back in court to face DUI manslaughter charge after February mistrial
This is a six-month review of the most-read crime stories in Collier County on naplesnews.com from September 2018 to February 2019. Wochit
An East Naples man, accused of driving under the influence and killing a woman in a 2014 crash, was back in court Monday after a mistrial was declared in February.
Kiereek Seymour, 29, of East Naples, was charged with DUI manslaughter after an early morning crash at Lakewood and Davis boulevards in East Naples on May 19, 2014. He remains in jail.
Sandra Marie Maddux, 54, of East Naples, died from injuries suffered in the crash.
Circuit Judge Joseph Foster declared the mistrial after a juror came out of the jury room during deliberations and indicated she was feeling uncomfortable. The new trial is expected to last nine days, the length of the February trial, Foster said Monday.
Six jurors and two alternatives were selected Monday, and opening statements from the defense and prosecution are expected to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
February’s trial centered around conflicting assertions about whether Seymour was driving, which driver was at fault in the crash and whether Seymour's blood alcohol content was above .08, the legal limit for driving.
Even before February’s mistrial, Seymour had been in court before to face charges related to the crash that killed Maddux.
The state attorney's office refiled the DUI manslaughter charge in 2016 after then-Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt vacated an earlier plea agreement.
The negotiated plea agreement related to charges stemming from a Marco Island crash and charges from the crash involving Maddux. Hardt wrote that he had to vacate all sentences in the two cases.
At a hearing in June 2016, Seymour’s attorneys argued that the officer’s sirens were not activated during the pursuit of Seymour in the Marco Island incident, court documents show.
In an August 2016 order to vacate the sentence, Hardt agreed with Seymour’s attorneys, writing that “the officer’s dash cam clearly demonstrates that his siren was not activated.”
Seymour was back at the Collier County Courthouse in April 2018 for a jury trial to face charges in the Marco Island incident.
After deliberating for four hours and returning for four more hours on a second day, six jurors found Seymour guilty on all charges related to the Marco Island incident on April 27, 2018.
However, in May 2018, Seymour was granted a new trial in that case after testimony revealed jurors found a law book left behind in the jury room and used it to deliberate.
The book had been left behind by a bailiff who was studying for the sergeant’s exam, the bailiff testified during the hearing in which Seymour was granted a new trial.
The new jury trial for the charges related to the Marco Island incident was postponed after the mistrial was declared in Seymour’s February trial.