The scene of the deadly accident in which
Jack Carpenter was killed on North Dearborn
Road last September.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - There’s an argument over whether autopsy photos should be allowed in the possible jury trial of a woman accused in a deadly crash on North Dearborn Road.
Christy Shackelford-Grammer, 32, is charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Reckless Homicide for the death of three-year-old Jack Carpenter last September 8.
The boy had wandered out onto the road when he was hit by Shackelford-Grammer’s pickup truck. The truck did not stop, not even tapping the brakes after the impact said Carpenter’s mother, Beth, who witnessed the impact.
Shackelford-Grammer later told investigators she did not realize she had hit anything - she claimed to be distracted by her three children in the truck at the time - and only came to the realization that she may have been responsible after reading news reports later that night.
Prosecutors want photos of Carpenter’s autopsy by the Chief Medical Examiner of Kentucky to be used as evidence. A Supplemental Discovery Answer was filed by Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard in Dearborn Superior Court I on March 10.
Shackelford-Grammer’s defense attorney, Doug Garner, filed a motion April 21 to limit the use of the “gruesome” autopsy photos in order to maintain a fair trial.
“Permitting the Prosecutor to display images of Jack Carpenter will encourage the jury to act on passion and emotion. It will be impossible for Christy Shackelford to receive a fair trial if images of a dead child are displayed to the jury. In other words, these photographs will only serve to arouse passion and prejudice towards Christy Shackelford. It is clear that this passion and prejudice far outweigh and probative value that they may have to the State,” Garner wrote in his motion to Judge Jon Cleary, referencing past case law.
Prosecutors also filed a discovery for a DVD of cell phone records around the time of the accident.
Depositions were being taken from potential witnesses on Wednesday at the Dearborn County Courthouse. Among the 12 people interviewed were Aurora City Councilman Brett Fehrman; Jenny Fehrman; Christy’s ex-husband and former Aurora Police Office Roger Grammer; Rebecca Grammer, Clyde Shackelford; Marissa Hill; Janet Platt; Cathy Baker; Aurora Police Officer Michal Prudenti; Kevin Gerke; Heather Adams; and Grace Grammer.
A final pretrial hearing is set for Monday. The trial would begin May 23 unless a plea is made.
Meanwhile, a fundraiser which was planned to raise money for Shackelford-Grammer’s defense has been changed. The benefit was to be this Saturday at the Aurora Park Pavilion, but organizers say it has been cancelled there as they scramble to find a new location.
Aurora Mayor Donnie Hastings tells Eagle 99.3 organizers never completed an application to use the pavilion.