Douglas- The vehicular homicide trial of a Coffee County woman accused of killing five children has been postponed again, for a third time. Amanda Troupe is accused of driving drunk the night she hit an all terrain vehicle carrying six children. Five of them were killed. Her trial was supposed to start Monday, but her lawyer is ill.
It was a disappointing morning for family members of the five children killed in that ATV wreck who were left waiting for two and a half hours before finding out Monday's trial for Amanda Troupe wasn't going forward.
The first two rows in the Coffee County courtroom were filled with family members of Kayla and Dustin Varnadore, Lindsay Joyner, Courtney Arsenault, and Coranne Megan Nelson. All five were killed when Amanda Troupe's car hit their four-wheeler in September of 2003.
Two and a half hours after court began, Judge Michael Boggs informed family members the trial would again be postponed. Troupe's attorney, Tom Pujadas was admitted to an Early County Emergency Room with a reoccurring illness. Troupe's secondary council Rob Walker was told to be prepared to replace Pujadas if he can't return in the next several weeks.
With the next trial term six weeks away, Judge Boggs said it wasn't fair to the families or the defendant to wait. Boggs scheduled a special court session to begin August 21st just to hear the Troupe case. Before dismissing council, the Judge warned that he would not allow any more delays, especially for witnesses who had other commitments.
Judge Boggs has every intention of trying to seat a jury in Coffee County. Jury selection is schedule to begin first thing on the morning of the 21st. Jury summons for that trial are expected to go out Tuesday, August first.
It was September 20th, 2003 when the deadly ATV crash happened. Thirteen-year old Kayla Varnadore, her brother, 11-year old Dustin Varnadore, 13-year old Lindsay Joyner, 10-year old Courtney Arsenault, and the four wheeler driver, 13-year old Coranne Megan Nelson were killed. Thirteen-year old Heather Bass survived.
January 12th, 2005, the then 30-year old Amanda Troupe pleaded not guilty to the five counts of vehicular homicide and DUI. If she is convicted, she could get up to 15 years in prison on each count.
A South Georgia lawmakers subsequently introduced a bill in the state legislature to put tougher restrictions on ATV's, but the bill failed in the house.