More tests for wrong-way driver on insanity plea in deaths of Mason family

More psychological evaluations have been ordered for a 21-year-old woman seeking to plead not guilty by reason of insanity after being charged with murder in a wrong-way crash that killed three Warren County family members.

But the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said second opinions sought by defense attorneys for Abby Michaels will not keep her from standing trial for the March 17 deaths of husband and wife Timmy and Karen Thompson, and their 10-year-old daughter Tessa, all of Mason.

“We are confident the evidence will show that she was sane at the time of the murders and that she is competent to stand trial,” prosecutor’s office Public Information Officer Greg Flannagan said in a statement issued Monday.

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Attempts on Monday to reach attorneys for Michaels, formerly of Xenia, were unsuccessful.

Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Dankof last week ordered additional sanity and mental competency evaluations for Michaels, formerly of Xenia, records show. The case’s next court date is Dec. 3.

Defense attorney Jay Adams is seeking the not guilty by reason of insanity plea for Michaels, who was indicted in July on six counts of murder, six counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

“A family of three lost their lives due to this defendant’s deliberate actions,” according to Flannagan’s statement. “The investigation determined the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time she crashed into the victims’ vehicle head-on.”

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In late August, Dankof ordered the initial evaluations on Michaels to be completed by Sept. 25. The judge signed off on more exams Oct. 16 after a court appearance by Michaels, who is being held in the county jail on a $3 million bond, records show.

County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. has said Michaels deliberately drove the wrong way northbound in the southbound lanes of I-75 in Moraine after pulling over in an emergency U-Turn area on the highway.

Blood-alcohol tests show Michaels was above the legal limit, police records show, but Heck said that was not a factor in the wreck.

A statement from Michaels’ estranged husband on July 8 indicated she told him “I’m going to drive backwards on I-75” just minutes before the triple-fatal crash occurred, according to Moraine Police Division records.

Michaels’ husband said she called him about 8 p.m. March 17 and it appeared she had been drinking.

“Abby insisted on coming over,” police records show.

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