Martin Burt Kuehl of Costa Mesa must stand trial for gross vehicular manslaughter for the death of Martha Ovalle. In August of 2008, Kuehl was driving and texting in Newport Beach. He failed to see a pedestrian, Ovalle, and ran right into her. Although phone records showed no texts at the exact time of the incident, Kuehl had his phone in his hand during the accident and had been texting in a prior intersection. If convicted of this crime, Kuehl will face up to 9 years in state prison.
Possible defenses include that Kuehl was not in fact texting or talking on the phone and instead, was just negligent in failing to see Ovalle. Another defense could be that the pedestrian crossed when she was not supposed to. Lastly, the defense attorney could say that road conditions caused the accident and it was not the fault of Kuehl. Nevertheless, this manslaughter charge is serious and Kuehl will need a good defense attorney to assist him.