A federal judge on Friday vacated the convictions of Jessica Williams in connection with the deaths of six teenagers in 2000.
U.S. District Court Judge Kent Dawson partially permitted a writ of habeas corpus that Williams’ attorney filed on her behalf.
The Las Vegas teens, ages 14 to 16, were killed in an accident on an interstate 15 median.
They were Scott Garner Jr., Anthony T. Smith, Jennifer Booth, Alberto Puig, Rebeccah Glicken, and Maleyna Stoltzfus.
Williams had been convicted of six counts of driving with a prohibited substance in her blood.
Prosecutors at the time said Williams had marijuana in her system when the crash occurred, and she was sentenced to between 18 and 48 years in prison.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office now has 30 days to decide whether it will retry her. Then, the state would have 120 days to try her.
Williams spent around 19 years in prison and was paroled last October.
Williams’ attorney John Watkins argued that the law at the time of the crash didn’t give fair warning that the presence of marijuana metabolite in the bloodstream was illegal. This is an inactive ingredient.
Watkins argued under the law, a prohibited substance had to be a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug.”
He said his client was denied due process and her Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.
Williams’ case is thought to be one of the most devastating pedestrian accidents in the state’s history.
She was 20 when she struck the teens with a van. The young people were picking up trash as part of a community service program for youth.
Williams recently told a news outlet she fell asleep at the wheel and continued to be tormented by what happened.
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