Jury convicts man of 3rd-degree murder for killing family in Thanksgiving Day crash | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Jury convicts man of 3rd-degree murder for killing family in Thanksgiving Day crash

Megan Guza
851248_web1_ptr-colemantrial01-030219
Demetrius Coleman is charged in the 2016 Thanksgiving Day crash that killed a couple and their toddler daughter. Coleman allegedly fled a traffic stop and topped 100 mph in the moments before the 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 protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.