In 2006, Hmong refugee Koua Fong Lee lost control of his '96 Toyota Camry, killing an adult and two children. He was convicted in 2007 of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison. Lee has always maintained that he did everything he could to stop the car, but that his breaks simply didn't work.
Ramsey County Prosecutors have agreed to re-examine the evidence and Lee's totalled car on April 20-21st, 2010. But given the recent mechanical malfunctions of Toyota cars and their fatal implications, Koua Fong Lee deserves to be released from prison on his own recognizance pending retrial.
- Ramsey County Attorney's Office, Minnesota
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
I was pleased to learn on March 24th that in light of the recent Toyota malfunctions, Ramsey County has agreed to reexamine Koua Fong Lee's case and re-inspect his vehicle on April 20th-21st.
I am anxious to find out, however, whether the Ramsey County Attorney's office will release Koua Fong Lee on his own recognizance during the investigation and, if it occurs, the retrial.
Given Toyota's responsibility in similar cases, the three years that Koua Fong Lee has already spent in jail, and the fact that, as refugee from Laos with no financial means, Lee poses no flight risk, I believe it is Ramsey County's moral responsibility to release Koua Fong Lee so he can return to his young family pending the speedy reexamination of evidence in his favor.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope that you choose to do the right thing in giving Koua Fong Lee the benefit of the doubt lacking in his first trial.
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