Jury finds Alex West guilty on most charges in fatal Lake George boating crash

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A jury found Alex West guilty on most charges in the fatal Lake George boating crash that killed an 8-year-old girl last July.

West faced 12 charges. He was found guilty on eight:

  • Count 1: Manslaughter 2nd degree GUILTY
  • Count 2: Assault 2nd degree GUILTY
  • Count 3: Vehicular manslaughter 2nd degree NOT GUILTY
  • Count 4: Vehicular assault 1st degree NOT GUILTY
  • Count 5: Vehicular assault 2nd degree NOT GUILTY
  • Count 6: Criminally negligent Homicide GUILTY
  • Count 7: Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting GUILTY
  • Count 8: Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting GUILTY
  • Count 9: Boating while ability impaired by alcohol GUILTY
  • Count 10: Boating while ability impaired by drugs NOT GUILTY
  • Count 11: Reckless operation of a vessel GUILTY
  • Count 12: Criminal possession of a controlled substance GUILTY

After the verdict was read, West was sent to jail without bail. He faces seven to 22 years in state prison when he is sentenced.

“The truth about what happened is now known to everyone who watched this trial,” Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan said. “They will never be the same, but they have each other. These are very good strong people who did not deserve to be taken from them.”

West was accused of being under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the boating hit-and-run after leaving a Log Bay Day celebration. Charlotte McCue, 8, died as a result of the crash.

Bob Knarr is Charlotte’s grandfather and the driver of the boat she was riding in that day.

“Justice was served today, and it was served well,” he said. “I relive that night every hour, every minute of every day, and this trial forced us to look at it in vivid living color.”

Knarr thanked the media, law enforcement and the jury for their work and for forcing West to take responsibility for his decisions.

“They came back with a verdict that was honest and true,” he said. “For the very first time in probably his life, Alex West was forced to face his own actions.”

After the trial wrapped, juror Steve DeJesus told NEWS10 ABC how they came to a verdict.

“It was a difficult case,” he said. “It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination.”

DeJesus said the jury took the charges count by count before coming to an agreement on all 12.

“This was indicative of us going back to the judge several times and asking to have testimony read back to us,” he explained. “We wanted to make sure we did our due diligence, and all 12 of us feel we did that today.”

They also worked to keep their emotional feelings separate from their decision.

“Those people have a vacancy in their hearts that will never be filled,” DeJesus said.

Emotions Knarr had a hard time holding back.

“This is a hollow victory for us because we don’t have Charlotte,” he said. “It’s a big win, but I will tell you every one of us here would trade this victory and probably our lives to have Charlotte back.”

West’s attorney, Cheryl Coleman, offered her reaction to the verdict.

“I wish that they’d stayed and had dessert at the Huddle. I wish they’d left earlier or wish they left later,” she said. “I wish that everybody’s life didn’t intersect the way they did.”

Coleman said she will appeal the verdict and believes she has multiple reasons to appeal. When asked for a comment, West’s family declined.

The jury began deliberations on Friday. The trial began on Wednesday, April 19.

 

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