Driver Formally Charged in OSU Homecoming Crash

Initially arrested on complaints of DUI and first degree manslaughter, Adacia Chambers, the woman who plowed her car into a crowd at the Oklahoma State University Homecoming parade, has been formally charged in the case.

Chambers, 20, is charged in Payne County District Court with four counts of second degree murder and 46 counts of assault and battery by means or force likely to produce death. After she drove her car into the crowd of parade attendees, three people died at the scene, a toddler died later at an Oklahoma City hospital, and dozens were injured, some critically.

She is held on $1 million bond. 

Although police initially arrested her on a DUI complaint, observing signs consistent with drug or alcohol impairment, Chambers's attorney says that he does not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, believing instead that his client is "mentally incompetent" and crashed her vehicle into the crowd as a result of some type of blackout from mental illness. 

Chambers reportedly has a history of mental illness and has twice been hospitalized as a result. She has also reportedly attempted suicide in the past.

Second degree murder is defined in 21 O.S. Â§ 701:

Homicide is murder in the second degree in the following cases:

1. When perpetrated by an act imminently dangerous to another person and evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual; or

2. When perpetrated by a person engaged in the commission of any felony other than the unlawful acts set out in Section 1, subsection B, of this act.

Because Chambers has not been charged with any other underlying felony, it seems apparent that she is charged with second degree murder for committing "an act imminently dangerous . . . and evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life." There seems to be insufficient evidence of the premeditation and intent that would be required for a first degree murder charge.

Each count of second degree murder is punishable by 10 years to life in prison.

The 46 counts of assault and battery by such means or force as is likely to produce death are the result of the dozens of people who were injured when Chambers drove into the crowd. The maximum penalty for assault and battery with a deadly weapon or by such means or force as is likely to produce death is life in prison.

If convicted, the woman could potentially face up to 50 life sentences.

Her attorney, however, argues that his defendant is mentally incompetent to stand trial. Learn more about the effect of mental incompetency in a criminal trial in our blog article here.     

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