Criminally negligent homicide trial begins in Lauderdale County

FLORENCE, Ala. – A Lauderdale County man is on trial this week accused of causing a woman’s death in a car crash.

In October 2015 a grand jury indicted Donald Keith Ray for criminally negligent homicide, just two months after the death of 88-year-old Virginia Sharp.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys spent Monday picking a 12-person jury.

Jurors will here evidence in the August 2015 wreck at the intersection of Mars Hill Road and Cox Creek Parkway.

According to Florence police, Ray was talking on his cell-phone when he ran a red light. As he was going through the intersection, investigators said he collided with the car driven by Virginia Sharp. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Florence police said a third vehicle which was sitting at the red light was also hit after the impact.

After his indictment was issued, Ray turned himself in to authorities.

Criminally negligent homicide is a misdemeanor charge, and one which brings a penalty of up to one year in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors expect the trial of Donald Keith Ray to last much of the week. He has been free from jail on a bond of $5,000.