Innocence Project Appeals for Hit and Run Driver Katie Garding
After spending the last seven years in the Montana State Prison for the 2008 hit and run death of Bronson Parsons in East Missoula, Katie Garding is in a Missoula courtroom on Monday arguing for a new trial.
The Montana Innocence Project has continued to work on Garding's behalf by citing that Garding did not receive adequate representation at her trial, and that evidence that could have proved her innocent was not produced. Innocence Project Clinical and Legal Director Larry Mansch related just some of the evidence that was not produced at Garding's original trial.
"A young man named Bronson Parsons was struck from behind while walking along the road in East Missoula, and unfortunately, he was killed," Mansch said. "We had a number of well-known professionals that reconstructed the accident scene, something that was never done during the original trial, and concluded that it was not physically possible for a vehicle to strike Mr. Parsons and throw the body over 100 feet and come away without any damage, since Katie's vehicle showed no damage."
Garding lost her appeal before the Montana Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
After a hearing in March of 2017, Garding was returned to the Montana State Prison to continue her 40 year term.
Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jennifer Clark argued for the state in Missoula District Court on Monday that Garding's conviction and sentence should be upheld due to the evidence presented at her trial.
"The Innocence Project has had several experts look at this case, and it's the state's contention that their analysis of the crash is not accurate by those experts because there are points of information that they are using that are not supported by the facts of the case," she said.
The hearing before Judge John Larson continues on Tuesday.