A judge has refused bail to a woman suspected of killing a bride on her wedding day because she is a flight risk and a danger to the community.
If the state does not take Jamie Komoroski’s case to trial by March 2024, the court has said he will issue bond. In that event, Judge Michael Nettles ordered that Komoroski be placed under electronic monitoring and house arrest in the Charleston region, as well as subject to a $150,000 surety bond.
While waiting for Judge Nettles’ verdict, Komoroski appeared anxious and tense while appearing digitally in court. She made an appearance via video link from Charleston County Jail, where she has been held since her arrest on April 28.
Komoroski, who was dressed in a strike prison jumpsuit, was frequently spotted sniffling and rubbing her eyes with tissues as she cried. She could only hear the lawyers and family members speaking and see the judge behind the bench.
As Judge Nettles explained his ruling to the jury, he stated, “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances in this matter, I do indeed conclude the defendant is a risk of flight and a threat to the community, and I am going to refuse bond.
But the state has until March of 2024 to hold a trial on this matter. If that doesn’t happen, the suspect will be freed on $150,000 bail with electronic monitoring and home arrest. She’s only allowed out of the house in cases of extreme necessity, like a hospital visit, or with a court order.She’ll also have to wear a sophisticated, nearly impossible-to-tamper-with equipment called a SCRAM monitor, which tracks her alcohol consumption via a sensor. The defendant is required to stay in Charleston County, is not allowed to drive, and must hand up her passport.
A “very tragic situation for all concerned,” as judge Nettles put it. According to him, “it would give closure for everybody” if the trial could proceed, therefore he urged everyone involved to cooperate with the administrative judge.
On May 19th, Komoroski’s legal team filed a motion claiming their client posed no risk of fleeing or endangering others. It asked that she be released on $100,000 bond with strict terms such staying under her mother’s supervision and not having access to drugs or alcohol.
The April 28 incident at Folly Beach that killed Samantha Miller, 34, and injured the groom, Aric Hutchinson, resulted in Komoroski, 25, being charged with vehicular homicide and three counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury.
Authorities said Komoroski was going more than twice the speed limit when she crashed into the back of a golf cart as it left a wedding celebration, and a toxicology check revealed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.261.
Family members from both the Miller and Hutchinson sides were present, and they were sitting directly across from each other in the first few rows of the gallery. The judge heard heartfelt testimony from Samantha’s parents and siblings, all of whom spoke out against Komoroski’s release.Chris Gramiccioni, Komoroski’s attorney, then addressed the court, making his case for bail for his client by referencing the state constitution and Black’s Law Dictionary. A spot at a sober living facility was ready and waiting for Komoroski upon her release.
In his decision, Judge Nettles noted that Komoroski “should be commended for recognizing her alcoholism,” but added, “In my opinion, rehab would be most effective at the end of this matter.”
He elaborated, saying, “If tried and found not guilty rehabilitation would certainly be an order, and if convicted she could take advantage of the addiction treatment unit while incarcerated in the Department of Corrections.”
Her parents also spoke, expressing sympathy for the victims’ loved ones without directly addressing the family sitting across the courtroom from them.
According to data obtained from Jamie Lee Komoroski’s rental car, she was traveling at 65 mph (105 kph) and just briefly applied the brakes before colliding with the golf cart at approximately 10 p.m. on that day on Folly Beach. There is a 25 mph (40 kph) speed limit on the island off the coast of Charleston.The motion argued that Komoroski should be allowed to go free because of her “personal characteristics,” which include “her strong family support and ties to the community.” It was mentioned that Komoroski has battled alcoholism, depression, and anxiety for quite some time.
“Jamie, with the support of her family, is committed and prepared to engage in intense, inpatient substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation immediately upon her release,” the motion reads.
Mr. Hutchinson sued Komoroski for wrongful death on May 17. The lawsuit claims Komoroski had a “booze-filled day of bar hopping” and that the bars she visited should have “exercised due care” in selling alcoholic beverages.
Bottle Cap Holdings, LLC, Snapper Jacks, The Drop-In Bar and Deli, The Crab Shack, Taco Boy, El Gallo Bar and Grill, and Komoroski are also named in the case.
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