Yesterday, I took a minute and examined the court's files on State v. Karen Irby. and the wrongful death action In the criminal case file, there were some motions, in limine and otherwise, that were interesting, but the plea petition itself shed a bit of light on things as well.
As was rumored, there was a defense motion to obtain the "blackbox" from the Irby Mercedes. It was granted, so we can assume that angle was explored by the defense prior to plea. Also, there were two motions in limine concerning beverage containers found at the scene. The defense wanted to keep the State from mentioning a beer can apparently found outside of the Mercedes, and a "drinking glass" found in it. In addition, there was a defense motion to prevent the State from mentioning Karen Irby's prior DUI conviction from the late 90's. The conviction was overturned on appeal.
Then it gets interesting. In Mississippi plea petitions, the defendant states what he or she believes the elements of the crime to be. Then, the defendant states what actions he or she took, and swears that those actions meet the elements of the crime. In Karen Irby's petition (filed March 29), she says that while she was driving the car Stuart Irby began yelling at her and assaulting her. She then says she sped up and crossed into oncoming traffic, and that she had consumed two glasses of wine, and that her BAC was .09. Oddly enough, she doesn't make a causal nexus between the supposed assault and the bad driving in her plea petition.
We flash forward to May 11, and Karen Irby's claiming that she's not liable for civil damages because of what she alleges in the plea petition. In addition to that, the families of the victims are right there with her, blaming this whole ordeal on Stuart Irby. That's disjunctive to me. So what happened between March 29 and May 11? Well, in the wrongful death file, there's a notice of deposition for Karen Irby, set for May 10 in Courtroom 6 of the Hinds County Courthouse. My guess is that the families were in attendance, and that they heard Karen Irby's allegations there in detail, and believed them.