OJ Stapleton Editor
December 9, 2013
The family of the teenager killed in an April car crash isn’t happy that the man who has been indicted for manslaughter for causing the accident is out on only $2,000 bond.
Troy L. Gregory, 19 of Auburn, was indicted Nov. 22 on a charge of first degree manslaughter for allegedly causing an accident that caused the death of his former girlfriend, Tracy Owen of Lewisburg. The accident occurred on April 30 on Hwy. 68-80 between Russellville and Auburn.
He was arrested Nov. 25 by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and the Auburn Police Department and was lodged in the Logan County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond that was later reduced to $2,000. He made bond and was free when he appeared in court for the first time last week.
Owen’s family is upset about the amount of the bond and are hoping that she gets justice from the case.
“People get busted for DUI and they get more of a bond than that,” said Owen’s mother, Melissa Rager. “It’s pretty bad when you can kill somebody and you only get a $2,000 bond.”
Owen’s aunt, Betsy Waller, agreed.
“We don’t think it was right,” Waller said. “Lowering the bond like that was an insult to the family and very disrespectful to her. Tracy’s life was worth so much more than that.”
Owen was just a few weeks shy of graduation at Logan County High School when the accident occurred.
“It was only seven days after her 19th birthday,” Rager said. “She was just your typical teenager. She was very outgoing and had a great personality.”
Her family also described Tracy as very giving and had a great love for the Christmas season.
“She was working in the Auburn Nursing Home and wanted to go to school to become a nurse and keep doing that sort of work,” Rager said. “She loved working with older people.”
Gregory was indicted after a grand jury was presented evidence by Commonwealth Attorney Gail Guiling stating that he intentionally used his vehicle to force Owen off the roadway. This caused her vehicle to strike a tree, resulting in her death.
This indictment came at the end of a six month investigation into the accident by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and the Kentucky State Police. Through combined efforts, an accident reconstruction investigation took place, while a separate criminal investigation was being conducted.
During the investigation, the sheriff’s department found that a 1987 Chevy pickup truck, operated by Gregory, had entered the lane of travel of a 1998 Chevy Monte Carlo, operated by Owen. Upon collision in Owen’s lane of travel, Owen’s vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Owen was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Guiling offered the grand jury three other options besides first degree manslaughter which included: murder, showing intent; second degree manslaughter, showing want and reckless homicide, which says Gregory was recklessly operating his vehicle when he struck Owen.
“I presented the grand jury with the evidence I had and it was their duty to select which option they wanted to indict Mr. Gregory on. The jury gave the case lengthy consideration before deciding on an indictment,” said Guiling. “This situation is a tragedy. Anytime a young life is lost, it is a tragedy.”
First degree manslaughter is a Class B felony that if convicted carries a minimum 10 year sentence and a maximum 20 year sentence.
Owen’s mother said that the result she wants from the trial is simple.
“I want my daughter to have justice,” Rager said.