Charges dropped for Kaitlyn Blackler in New Ipswich NH hit and run
Jul 10, 2012
NEW IPSWICH, N.H. – Charges are being dropped in a hit-and-run case in which a mother was struck while pushing a stroller along a rural New Ipswich road in April.
Kaitlyn Blackler, 19, was charged with felony conduct after an accident and was supposed to be in court Tuesday morning, but police instead dropped the charges.
“It’s our perspective that the charges have been dropped because of lack of evidence,” said defense attorney Adam Bernstein.
Blackler’s attorney said his client should never have been arrested. In June, New Ipswich police charged her in connection with a hit-and-run accident. Police said a black car struck a woman who was pushing her toddler in a stroller at the intersection of two rural roads.
Blackler had been living up the street with her then-boyfriend. Her car matched the description of the suspect vehicle and had front-end damage, police said. She told police she hit a deer over the winter.
“After looking at all of the evidence we have currently, we made a determination that it would be in our best interest not to go through a probable cause hearing at this time,” said Chief Garrett Chamberlain.
Chamberlain said Blackler’s cellphone records contradict a prior statement to investigators about where she was before the accident. Officers need testimony from Blackler’s cellphone carrier, and they weren’t able to arrange it before Tuesday’s hearing.
“We had anticipated having an expert witness from a cell company that would be able to testify on our behalf as to Miss Blackler’s position prior to the accident,” Chamberlain said.
Blackler’s attorney said his client has cooperated from the beginning and has nothing to hide.
“This case, from my perspective, is, at best, a completely circumstantial case,” Bernstein said. “There’s absolutely no physical evidence of any kind. There’s no forensic evidence that links these allegations to my client.”
The hit-and-run victim, Crystal Hazelton, said she’s still dealing with physical pain and medical bills. Police have told her their investigation remains open.
“This matter is still ongoing,” Chamberlain said. “It’s not closed by any means. Just the process through the court system right now has been essentially suspended.”
Hazelton said that no matter what happens on the criminal side of the case, she and her lawyers plan to file a lawsuit against Blackler seeking damages.
Crystal Hazelton tells her story (Video)
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