COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- It's been over three years since a North Idaho woman caused a pair of serious car crashes on Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive.
Kara Powers allegedly carjacked a bystander who had stopped to help while the bystander's children were in the car. She is charged with three felonies, including driving under the influence and grand theft. All this time later, the trial in this case has been delayed six times.
In January 2014, investigators said Powers hit a car on Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive. A good Samaritan then stopped to see if she was OK. Next, police said Powers got in to the good Samaritan’s car, all while the woman's three children were still inside. The mom was frantically able to get the kids out just in time. Police said Powers then sped off down the same road and caused another wreck.
The crash sent Powers and the man driving a pickup to the hospital. After much investigation, authorities would eventually charge Powers in 2015 with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an injury accident, and grand theft. All three are felonies.
Two years after charges were brought forward and three years after the initial crash, a trial has yet to take place. Court records said Powers' trial has been delayed six times. It's not entirely abnormal for criminal trials to be pushed back at least once or twice. Powers' trial was initially slated for January of 2016.
Then, after four other delayed trial dates, Monday was supposed to be the date of a trial. Court records show that hearing was vacated. The delays come down to both prosecutors and the defense being ready and fully prepared. According to Powers' lawyer, both sides asked for the most recent delay. It wasn't until recently that Powers' lawyer said that she was diagnosed with a "seizure condition." They plan on including that in their argument and prosecutors have asked for more time to prepare their own expert witnesses.
Scheduling some of the defense's expert witnesses to travel to Coeur d'Alene has been a challenge too. Powers' lawyer said that Powers was recently hospitalized in Phoenix, and is on life support, but could not comment further.
Not all of the court files in this case were available. One previous hearing, before a trial date was set, was asked to be delayed by Powers' lawyer because she had recently moved to Hawaii. As of now, the next hearing in this case is what's called a "status conference." The conference will take place in June and it is not clear when the next tentative trial date will be set.