Date: June 10, 2006

Victim: Javis Adams, Javis Adams Jr., Devyn Bolton

Location: St. Paul, Minn.

Model: 1996 Toyota Camry

Details: Koua Fong Lee was driving his family home from church when his 1996 Camry accelerated as he exited a St. Paul freeway. He said he placed his foot on the brake pedal but the car raced at an estimated 90 mph and crashed into an Oldsmobile Ciera. Three people in the Oldsmobile were killed.

A Minnesota jury convicted Lee of vehicular homicide, concluding his foot had been on the gas and not the brake pedal. A judge sentenced him to eight years in prison.

In an interview this month at Lino Lakes state prison, Lee, 32, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he still believed the car malfunctioned. "When I stepped on the brake, nothing happened," he said.

Lee's attorney, Brent Schafer, said he had hired an expert to study Lee's Camry, still at a city impound lot, to determine whether a malfunction caused the car to accelerate uncontrollably. Schafer said he planned to ask a judge to overturn Lee's conviction.

The vehicle is not subject to recall, but other motorists have complained about sudden acceleration in that model, Schafer said.

"I do not believe a jury would convict this man in today's atmosphere under these facts," Schafer told The Times. "It seems to be blatantly obvious that it's an accelerator issue."

-- Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams and Robert FaturechiCopyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
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