A Wyoming man who faces three felonies related to a 2017 crash that killed two people drove off the road in 2015 and nearly hit another vehicle, prosecutors say.
Alexander Richardson, of Lusk, faces two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and a count of aggravated assault in the case, which stems from an Aug. 23, 2017 crash on Wyoming Highway 220 near Pathfinder Reservoir that killed a mother and her 3-year-old son.
Soon Young Lee, 46, and Jaehyeok Seo, 3, both of South Korea, died at the scene. Lee’s husband, Bong Joon Seo, also suffered injuries in the crash.
Richardson pleaded not guilty to all three counts in August.
Prosecutors Ava Bell and Michael Schafer argued in a Friday morning court hearing to admit evidence at trial related to a November 2015 incident in which Richardson’s truck ran off U.S. Highway 191. Richardson forced another vehicle off the road, which narrowly avoided a collision, according to a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper who testified at the hearing. Richardson’s vehicle then slid into a fence, according to a crash report cited by prosecutors.
When Trooper Landon Call encountered Richardson following the 2015 incident, Richardson appeared drowsy, Call said. Richardson told the trooper at the scene that he suffered from a medical condition that could have caused the drowsiness. He also told Call he had not taken a nap as he usually did after working a long shift, the trooper testified.
Bell wants evidence relating to the 2015 incident, including Call’s dashcam footage, shown to jurors in Richardson’s upcoming trial in order to show that Richardson knew the risk of driving while drowsy. She says Richardson’s Ford F-250 pickup crossed over the center line in the 2017 wreck, which took place after he worked a nearly 14-hour shift.
Defense attorney Don Fuller, who is representing Richardson and whose office received the video footage on Thursday afternoon, said during the Friday hearing he was out of the office when the video arrived and had not yet reviewed it. The lawyer told Judge Kerri Johnson he nevertheless opposed admission of evidence related to the 2015 wreck.
Fuller said prosecutors were trying to introduce the evidence for reasons not allowed by the court rule and case law governing uncharged acts.
“(The evidence is) really only coming in to be prejudicial,” Fuller said. “That is a completely improper purpose for this type of evidence.”
Johnson told the attorneys she would allow them until close of business Friday to submit any additional written arguments on the issue. She will issue a ruling at a later date.