Jury convicts man of 3rd-degree murder for killing family in Thanksgiving Day crash
A jury Friday convicted Demetrius Coleman of three counts of third-degree murder in the 2016 Thanksgiving Day crash in North Versailles that killed a family heading to dinner, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors intend to argue that Coleman should face life in prison without the possibility of parole, said District Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Manko. He court filing will be based on the multiple convictions of third-degree murder, he said.
Sentencing is set for June 5.
Jurors began deliberating in the case Wednesday after four days of testimony.
Coleman was 22 on Nov. 24, 2016, when he ran from a traffic stop near the GetGo on Route 30 in North Versailles. He drove on Route 30 at speeds reaching 100 mph before he slammed into Kaylie Meininger’s Ford Taurus, killing Meininger, her 2-year-old daughter, Annika, and her fiancé, David Bianco.
The car burst into flames, creating a fireball so severe that it was not immediately clear to first responders how many people were in the car.
Coleman’s attorney, Brent McCune, told the jury that his client was guilty of causing the deadly crash, but he didn’t intend to kill the family. He asked the jury to convict Coleman of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Assistant District Attorney Douglas Maloney argued that Coleman knew he was going to kill someone if he kept fleeing police, and he kept driving anyway.
Coleman testified in his own defense, saying that he never meant to kill anyone. He said he doesn’t remember throttling down Route 30 or the fireball crash that ended the pursuit.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, email@example.com or via Twitter .