After less than two hours of deliberations Wednesday, a Pierce County jury returned a not guilty verdict for a western Wisconsin woman who was accused of texting while driving before a crash that killed her daughter and two nieces.
The jury acquitted 35-year-old Kari Jo Milberg of Centuria late Wednesday of all four charges against her, which included three counts of negligent homicide and one of reckless injury.
Prosecutors claimed Milberg was sending and receiving Facebook chat messages just before her SUV collided with a truck in December of 2013 on a highway near Prescott.
The defense said investigators never considered the possibility that Milberg’s eleven-year-old daughter Lydia was the one using the phone just before she died in the crash. Milberg’s attorney also said worn tires and bad road conditions could have played roles in the crash, which also killed her five-year-old nieces Laynie Jo Amos and Clara Pavek.