CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) A Christiansburg teenager was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges and delinquent on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his 16-year-old girlfriend.
On the night of July 22, 2018, 16-year-old Alex Leonard got behind the wheel of his girlfriend, Ashlyn Poole's father's Ford Focus. The two turned down Mud Pike Road in Christiansburg.
According to the Commonwealth's report, the car was travelling 86.1 mph, five seconds before it crashed. The speed limit on that road is 40 mph.
The report also said the car hit a raised driveway, became airborne, traveled over 50 feet, and struck a power pole 15 feet off the ground.
Poole was pronounced dead at the scene. She was not wearing a seatbelt.
Leonard was found hanging upside down from his seatbelt and taken to the hospital. He suffered a brain bleed and was unconscious for three days.
On Thursday, a judge found Leanard guilty on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving outside permit restrictions. He was sentenced to 30 days’ detention on each charge, all of which was suspended. He also was sentenced to a 12-month operator’s license suspension and indefinite active supervised probation, provided that he remains in school until age 18, lives with his parents and cooperates with a court services unit.
Leonard was found delinquent on a charge of involuntary manslaughter (juveniles are found delinquent rather than guilty) and was committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice. He was sentenced to 12 months’ detention, 11 of which were suspended. He will report June 7 to serve the remaining 30 days’ detention.
He will have no operator’s license until age 21, and no restricted license will be granted.
Felony charges were deferred until 2021 and will be dismissed as long as Leonard complies with the following: Indefinite active supervised probation; Keep the peace (reside with parents/attend school until 18 years old; Cooperate with court services unit; Continue counseling and comply with recommendations, including prescribed medication; serve 100 hours of community service, to be relevant to making a change in the community and address offense (i.e., making a presentation for the DMV, speaking engagements, etc.); No contact with the Poole family unless the Poole family requests an apology.