MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Many will remember Kayla Gerdes from her high-strung outbursts while being escorted to court. The then-18-year-old’s manslaughter trial stemming from a fatal Long Island accident has been delayed.
On Wednesday, Gerdes’ former boyfriend spoke exclusively to CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Gerdes’ trial was supposed to begin this week, nearly 18 months to the day after she allegedly climbed behind the wheel of a van and ran over and killed a beloved doctor while high on Xanax and Oxycodone.
In the white van with her that day was Brian Steele of Oceanside, who earlier Wednesday went before a judge in his quest to get all charges dropped against him.
“It’s a horrible tragedy that I never thought would happen,” Steele told McLogan. When asked if he would testify against Gerdes, he replied “I have no idea what I’m doing so far.”
Sources told CBS 2 that Steele is cooperating and the trial has been put on hold. The family of Dr. Rebecca Twine, who was the victim of the crash, said they are riding an emotional roller coaster.
“It’s very difficult because the pain just continues to linger. We really want to have some sort sense closure and see justice served,” said Chauncy Twine, the victim’s son.
Why the unexpected delay? Gerdes’ defense attorney claims it is because the district attorney is looking to hedge her bets.
“The D.A. is just piling on charge after charge, hoping to get a conviction on something. A delaying tactic. I am confident manslaughter won’t stick,” John Lewis said.
Investigators told CBS 2 they uncovered additional new crimes now being consolidated in a brand-new Gerdes indictment.
“It’s a very complicated case, more than just manslaughter. They hit her with a lot of accusations concerning drug charges, and forged prescriptions,” said Ben Gullo, a defense attorney and trial expert.
If found guilty of manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs, the 19-year-old Gerdes could spend 59 years in prison.