Year in review

Officers block a portion of Main Street in Monmouth after an accident. Dyllan D. Coons, 19, of Dallas, pleaded not guilty to three charges stemming from a fatal Sept. 7 crash in the 1100 block of Main Street East, in Monmouth. Judge Rafael Caso ruled on motions in the case on Friday. 

DALLAS — Polk County Circuit Court Judge Rafael Caso on May 24 ruled on motions to exclude evidence in the case of Dyllan D. Coons, of Dallas.

Coons is charged with criminally negligent homicide, failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons, second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.

The charges stem from a fatal crash Sept. 7, 2018, in the 1100 block of Main Street East, in Monmouth.

As a result of the crash, Santiago Amaya, 31, was found on the ground and “unresponsive with life-threatening injuries,” according to court documents. Amaya was transported to Salem Hospital. He died on Sept. 12.

Kenneth E. Kahn, II, Coons’ attorney, filed a motion on April 19 to exclude mention of certain evidence at trial.

Caso denied Kahn’s request to exclude evidence that Coons “didn’t want to see the accident video taken from the security camera,” according to court documents.

Caso also denied the motion to exclude a “statement by Coons during the police interview that his family would say that he rarely goes over the speed limit,” according to court documents.

Caso withheld a ruling to exclude “opinion evidence by those who did not personally witness the crash regarding causation, speed, extent of injuries, cause of injuries, point of impact and accident reconstruction unless they are qualified to offer an expert opinion,” according to court documents.

He granted the exclusion over a matter that had been expunged.

Though Caso denied a previous request from the defense for change of venue because of pretrial publicity, Kahn said in court Friday that he was concerned about jury selection.

Kahn said the “Hispanic community is tight,” and he was concerned about publicity and the connection potential jurors may have to the victim’s family.

Kahn filed a motion that would allow each prospective juror to be questioned by each attorney before the next prospective juror is questioned, rather than questioning a panel as a whole.

Caso denied that motion with reservation to request again at a later time.

Caso ordered that the defense provide the report from their forensic pathologist to Jason Ramey, deputy district attorney, by Sept. 27. Trial is scheduled for Nov. 5, and that would give the state more than a month to review the report.

Ramey is leaving the district attorney’s office. The attorney who will replace him on this case has not yet been determined.

The next court date is scheduled for July 26.

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