A wrong-way collision on the Kilpatrick Turnpike in early April killed a kindergartner and seriously injured his mother and his older brother. Now, and Edmond man has been charged with second degree murder and other crimes related to the accident.
Kelly Corn, 44, was charged Friday in Oklahoma County District Court with one count of second degree murder for the death of the 6-year-old boy, two counts of causing an accident resulting in bodily injury for the injuries to the boy's mother and 9-year-old brother, leaving the scene of an accident for a hit-and-run in a restaurant parking lot just prior to the fatal accident on the turnpike, and possession of methamphetamine.
According to reports, Corn was a customer at P.F. Chang's at the corner of Memorial Road and Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday night, April 5. Corn's waiter said that the man did not appear to be drunk, nor had he consumed any alcohol at the restaurant prior to paying his tab and leaving. However, the waiter says that he saw the man strike a co-worker's vehicle in the parking lot and notified the co-worker. When the man went outside to assess the damage, he allegedly found Corn passed out behind the wheel of his car and startled him awake when he knocked on the window. The mans says that Corn became aggressive and belligerent and then fled the parking lot, driving the wrong way on Memorial Road and entering the Kilpatrick Turnpike by driving up an off-ramp. Corn's Chevrolet pickup collided with a Lexus driven by the young victim's mother. The child died at the scene, and his mother and brother were transported to the hospital with serious injuries. Corn was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries as well. Police said they discovered a bottle of pills in Corn's vehicle, and blood tests identified the presence of methamphetamine and opiates in his system.
Fatal DUI accidents are often charged as first degree manslaughter, under one of the offense's definitions as an act of homicide that occurs during the commission of a misdemeanor. Typically, a first offense of DUI is a misdemeanor. However, if the DUI is not the first offense, or if there is some other felony taking place when the fatal accident occurs, the charge is elevated to second degree murder.
Second degree murder is defined in 21 O.S. § 701.8 as an act of homicide that occurs under one of the following two conditions:
- When perpetrated by an act imminently dangerous to another person and evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual; or
- When perpetrated by a person engaged in the commission of any felony other than the unlawful acts [which would result in a charge of first degree murder in the commission of a felony].
Second degree murder is punishable by 10 years to life in prison.