A judge has denied bond for a woman accused of killing a newlywed bride when she drunkenly slammed her Toyota Camry into a golf cart along a South Carolina beach road.
Jamie Lee Komoroski, 25, will remain behind bars awaiting trial after officials say she drove over twice the speed limit into a low-speed vehicle escorting a couple on their wedding day. Her blood alcohol content exceeded three times the legal level, according to a toxicology report. She faces charges of reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death or great bodily injury.
"This is certainly a very tragic situation for all concerned," Circuit Judge Michael Nettles said after delivering his decision.
Nettles asked that both parties work to expedite the trial, which is currently scheduled for March 2024. If the case is not heard by then, Komoroski can be released on a $150,000 surety bond. She would be subject to electronic monitoring and placed on house arrest.
Komoroski, appearing by video, frequently turned her eyes upward during a brief recess on Tuesday. She looked visibly shaken throughout the proceeding.
"She didn’t just kill my child," Lisa Miller, the bride’s mother, said tearfully in court. "She killed all of us."
Attorneys for Komoroski had sought a $100,000 bond under the conditions that she attend a rehabilitation program, remain under her mother’s supervision and forgo access to a vehicle or alcohol. They argued that she did not pose a community danger or flight risk. They also noted her lack of prior criminal history and strong family support.
The horrific April 28 wreck was preceded by two very different series of events around a popular Charleston-area beach town. Samantha Miller and Aric Hutchinson had just left a wedding reception along the shore that included a surprise mother-daughter dance and a sparkler-filled goodbye.
Meanwhile, four establishments served "copious amounts of alcohol" to Komoroski as she grew "visibly intoxicated" while barhopping with new coworkers, the groom has alleged in a separate wrongful death suit. Komoroski later refused to complete a sobriety test at the scene and required help standing from a responding officer, according to an affidavit obtained by The Associated Press.
Hutchinson, the groom, was discharged days later from the hospital after undergoing surgeries to help heal numerous broken bones that have placed him in a wheelchair. Two other passengers with the wedding party also survived their injuries.
James Pollard is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.