Airman given 15 months for crash that killed 2
April 12, 2011
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — An Air Force judge has sentenced a 21-year-old airman to 15 months in jail for negligent homicide in the deaths of two colleagues who died in a high-speed car accident last summer.
In a bench trial, Col. Dawn Eflein found Airman 1st Class Alan J. Lindgren guilty of two counts of negligent homicide, said Maj. Mark Hoover, the 52nd Fighter Wing deputy staff judge advocate. Eflein also reduced Lindgren in rank from airman first class to airman.
Lindgren was found not guilty of the more serious charge of involuntary manslaughter, Hoover said, and of using spice, a synthetic form of marijuana.
It was “not the intent [of Lindgren] to kill somebody,” Hoover said in explaining why Eflein probably opted for the lesser charge of negligent homicide.
The airman faced a maximum of three years in jail for each of the two counts of negligent homicide.
Prior to his trial, which concluded April 6, Lindgren had been incarcerated in nearby Mannheim Correctional Facility. It was not yet known where Lindgren would serve out his sentence.
A German police officer who responded to the accident last July 11 said Lindgren was driving a BMW M3 and traveling at least 125 mph. Lindgren had just passed another car and was entering a long, sweeping right curve on Autobahn 60 between Spangdahlem and Bitburg when his car struck a guardrail, according to the officer. The car rolled and landed on top of the metal girder.
Killed in the crash were Lindgren’s two passengers, Amanda Jotham, 19, and Brandon McDonald, 20, both airmen first class. Though injured, Lindgren was able to extricate himself from the car.
Capt. Emily Wilson, a prosecutor in the case, said Eflein determined there was not sufficient evidence to prove Lindgren was high on spice at the time of the accident. Lindgren chose not to testify during the trial.