A Shasta County judge has ruled there isn’t enough evidence to charge 53-year-old Virginia Anderson with second-degree murder in the alleged DUI crash that killed motorcyclist Hayley Riggins
In Anderson's preliminary hearing on Thursday, the judge called the prosecution's evidence extremely vague, unclear, and insufficient.
Anderson will still be held over for trial on a charge of DUI causing great bodily injury, and the D.A.'s office says they will continue to pursue a second-degree murder charge despite the setback.
During the hearing, Officer Boun Kongkeoviman of the Redding Police Department took the stand and spoke about the accident. He also quoted what Anderson told him that night. Officers claim Anderson said: “Yeah, I’m high on meth and shouldn't be driving." Kongkeoviman also claims she said: "If a person dies lock me up, throw the keys away."
While he testified, Anderson spent much of her time writing notes to her defender. At times, she showed tears. A criminal investigator also took the stand and spoke about Anderson’s previous boyfriend and her husband’s ex-wife, who both claimed that Anderson had driven under the influence before, and that Anderson was known for having a problem with drugs.
Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Toby Powell claimed Anderson knew what she was doing as she got into the car and knew that she was a danger to the public, therefore implying malice.
But Anderson’s attorney said that she never wanted to purposely kill anyone. And after hours of testimony the judge agreed.
"The judge did not hold the defendant to answer for the crime of second-degree murder,” said Powell. “Our office procedurally believes that there was sufficient evidence, so we are going to file the information which includes these charges and then these charges will be fairly litigated in the trial court."