A judge has dismissed the case against a driver charged in connection to the death of a woman struck and killed on Interstate 581.
The crash happened on the northbound side of Interstate 581 last June. According to police, 44-year-old Lori Alls was crossing the highway after her car crashed into the median. That’s when a passing car struck Alls.
Months later, investigators charged Kristin Church with felony hit-and-run with death, driving on a suspended license and driving without insurance.
The judge dismissed the hit-and-run case against Church on Thursday, saying the prosecution did not provide evidence that the defendant knew she hit a person.
“Lori didn’t deserve what she got, and we did want to see justice,” said Chris Kingery, Lori Alls’s cousin and pastor.
Kingery was in the courtroom for the trial and said he believes Alls has not gotten justice.
“We were angry, we were sad, frustrated, confused,” he said of the moment the case was dismissed.
According to court audio recordings, the defense argued there was not evidence presented that Church knew she hit a person, saying she and her husband got out of their car and could not find what they hit.
The prosecution claimed Church was not being honest and would have known she hit a person, according to court recordings, and started to park her car behind her house after the crash.
Judge William Broadhurst dismissed the case, saying the prosecution did not show evidence Church knew she struck a person.
“As a matter of law, the commonwealth’s evidence does not exclude every reasonable hypothesis of innocence,” Broadhurst explained in the courtroom.
“It just felt like somebody had a 2,000 pound weight above us and just dropped it on us,” Kingery said. “We didn’t know what to say.”
Kingery and his family said they do not plan to pursue a civil lawsuit as it will not bring Alls back. He said he prayed for Kristin Church and believes justice is now in God’s hands.
“He’s going to be her judge,” he said. “He will not be deceived, and he will not be swayed.”
For now, Kingery said he feels it is time for his family to move forward and begin the process of healing.
“We’re going to live our lives, and we’re going to just keep Lori’s memory alive, but in the process, try to recover from the last year,” he said.
According to court records, Kristin Church’s husband Ronnie Hunt has been charged with hit-and-run with death as a passenger. His jury trial is set to begin June 28.
WFXR News has reached out to the defense attorney in this case and is still waiting to hear back.