Johnson County Judge Brenda Cameron on Wednesday granted prosecutors’ request to bind over Roy Lee Maney on six charges — including first degree murder — stemming from his involvement in the Oct. 11, 2013, crash at 75th Street and Roe Avenue that took the life of Prairie Village resident Tiffany Mogenson.
In Maney’s first substantive court appearance since the day of the accident, Johnson County prosecutors Lannie Ornburn and Ann Henderson presented witness after witness who placed Maney in the driver’s seat of the black 2009 Mercedes S550 that plowed into Mogenson’s Ford Fusion, causing skull and pelvic injuries that likely killed her almost instantly.
Prairie Village Police Officer Ryan Warkentin was the first witness prosecutors called to the stand, and described clocking Maney’s Mercedes traveling at 48 miles per hour eastbound on 75th Street at Lamar Avenue, a 35 mile per hour zone. When Warkentin turned around to pull Maney over, Maney picked up speed. Warkentin turned on his sirens and lights for approximately 15 seconds before Maney’s speed became so excessive that Warkentin was losing ground. Warkentin turned off his sirens and called in the situation to dispatch.
Maney hung his head Wednesday as Ornburn played audio and video from Warkentin’s car as he crested the hill 300 feet west of the intersection to find the accident already having taken place. A crash reconstruction expert later testified that the minimum speed of Maney’s vehicle at the time of the crash had been 89 miles per hour. The deputy coroner who performed the autopsy on Mogenson said a basal skull fracture was the likely cause of death, though she suffered pelvic injuries that could have caused a quick death from bleeding as well.
Mogenson’s husband Michael briefly took the stand, testifying that he had come across the scene of the accident that afternoon and helped officers identify his wife. Prosecutors noted at one point that emergency responders had used the jaws of life to remove the top of Mogenson’s car out of fear that a child she cared for on occasion was in the back seat.
Several witnesses said they saw Maney flee from the scene without offering assistance to any of the other motorists. One witness, Jessica McGovern, said Maney looked completely distraught, placing his hands on his head in distress, before running away. Two police officers said Maney smelled strongly of alcohol after he was taken into custody in the yard of a homeowner at 78th Terrace, a few blocks from the scene of the crash.
Prairie Village Police Det. Josh Bernal transported Maney to Johnson County Jail the day of the crash, and testified that Maney had inquired repeatedly about the results of the accident, including if any children had been injured. Bernal said that Maney appeared to know that someone had died in the crash.
“I can’t believe I killed somebody,” Bernal recalled Maney saying. “I’m not a murderer, that’s not me.”
Defense attorney Mark Dupree called no witnesses for Maney, but spent the bulk of the six-hour hearing Wednesday trying to pokes holes in the notion that Maney was attempting to evade Warkentin, as fleeing from law enforcement officers is a prerequisite for the first degree murder charge he faces. Dupree argued that there was no conclusive evidence that Maney was aware the officer was trying to pull him over.
“A person can not run from the police if they do not know the police is after them,” Dupree said.
But Cameron quickly rendered her decision after closing arguments, saying that the prosecutors had met the burden showing probable cause that Maney did know he was being pursued by police.
A scheduling conference for Maney’s jury trial will be held Nov. 20. Maney has been jailed since his arrest after the crash.