Pre-trial hearing set for 86-year-old driver involved in funeral accident

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comJanuary 9, 2014 

An 86-year-old man who accidentally drove into a group of fellow mourners after a funeral at a Boise church in October was in court this week.

Lafoy J. Richards, who was charged with misdemeanor inattentive or careless driving, appeared at a pro se hearing at the Ada County Courthouse on Wednesday morning. But he opted to retain an attorney rather than represent himself, and he entered a not-guilty plea on the misdemeanor charge.

A pre-trial hearing has been set for 2:45 p.m. Feb. 4, and a trial date was set for Feb. 27.

That doesn't mean the case will go to trial. Richards will be offered a plea deal, which will likely include payment of restitution to victims and could include relinquishment of his license.

"Even though it was an accident, you don't want victims to have out-of-pocket expenses," Chief Deputy Boise City Attorney Steve Rutherford said.

Nine people, including a 5-year-old boy, were hospitalized Oct. 7, after Richards' Toyota sedan jumped a sidewalk and lurched across the lawn of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the corner of West McMillan Road and North Shamrock Avenue. The boy suffered a head injury and two broken legs. Kimberly Haddon suffered a concussion and a broken thumb.

Another victim, golf champion Karen Darrington, also was seriously hurt. She suffered a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. (Here's an update on her recovery.)

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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