BOWLING GREEN — An Ida, Mich. mother, who may not have fed or changed the diapers of her 6-week-old twins in at least the 10 hours leading up to the car crash that took their lives last year, was found not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday of two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide in Wood County Common Pleas Court.
Lori Massingill, 39, was driving north on Fostoria Road south of State Rt. 163 in Troy Township on Nov. 12. with her two babies in the back seat when the car hit railroad tracks, went airborne, and eventually crashed in a ditch on the left side of the road, according to state troopers. One of the infants, Presley, died at the scene, and the other, Parker, was taken to a local hospital where he later died.
In addition to the ruling on the counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, Wood County Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry found Ms. Massingill not guilty by reason of insanity of one count of endangering children. Judge Mayberry said medical documents provided to the court indicate that Ms. Massingill suffered from “acute psychotic mental illness” at the time of the offense.
“The defendant was not capable of knowing the wrongfulness of her acts and was incapable of forming a criminal intent,” Judge Mayberry said, citing the professional opinion stated in the medical documents.
Evidence from the crash suggested that the infants’ car seats were not properly secured, preventing them from effectively protecting the children, according to testimony from Lieutenant Christopher Kinn, crash reconstruction commander for the Ohio Highway Patrol.
Additionally, young Presley’s autopsy suggested that at the time of the crash, the child had not been fed for an “extended period of time” — 10 to 12 hours — said Lieutenant Kinn, who witnessed the autopsy.
Troopers were also told the infants were wearing diapers that were 12 to 15 hours old when they were taken to the hospital, Lieutenant Kinn said. Both infants’ heads were also bruised.
Charles Grizzard, an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper who responded to the November crash, said a witness described Ms. Massingill to him as “distraught” and “hysterical” after the incident that killed her children.
According to his testimony, Ms. Massingill told Mr. Grizzard after the crash that she had been searching for the father of the two children, but did not know where he lived and had lost her way when she drove off the road.
Mr. Grizzard said that Ms. Massingill told him that she had experienced flashbacks of a previous car crash and that she did not run off the road intentionally.
A hearing is scheduled for June 26 to determine a plan for Ms. Massingill’s future placement.