After deliberating for almost 48 hours, jurors Friday failed to reach a verdict in the case of a League City woman accused in a 2017 car crash that killed an 8-year-old girl, sending the case into its second mistrial.

Prosecutors intend to pursue the case to a final verdict, however, First Assistant Attorney Kevin Petroff said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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(22) comments

Rusty Schroeder

Unbelievable, just unbelievable. First, it's how 2 people are finding this woman not guilty of driving drunk and rear ending a stopped vehicle resulting in the death of a child. Second, is what is going on in the DA's office where people are getting away with killing people in this county. The defense attorney looks like he has the DA's prosecuting team figured out like 2 + 1 = 3. Three strikes and the DA's office is out, it's a crying shame for the Nalepa family that justice hasn't been served. My only question remaining is will Kurt Sistrunk defend these prosecutors, again, and next time?

Jon Babara

Spin it till u lose it! A civil lawsuit YA right !!!!! II You do not drink and drive !

Gary Scoggin

As terrible as this case is, the DA has had two attempts at trial and hasn’t got a conviction yet. Do they keep trying until they get the answer they want? I didn’t sit in the courtroom and hear all the evidence and I’m willing to bet no one else here did either. So it’s easy to second guess a jury if you don’t have all the facts.

If the family wants to file a civil suit against Diebel they should. They will probably be successful since the bar for judgement is much lower.

Rusty Schroeder

Roady said they would retry it in February. Gary do you believe in the blind squirrel finding nuts also? My guess is Diebel has less than a grand for a civil suit award, probably nothing in her name either. And last I knew, you can't go after the people's money that are paying for her defense. One thing is certain, Thiessen is making a name for himself in the defense field.

Kelly Naschke

Looks like Roady is making a name for himself too....

Edward Norris

From comments made by the defendant's ex husband after this accident, it was made clear that she already had alcohol related accidents, yet continued to drink and drive. He was concerned for the safety of his own kids, & it was reported that he got full custody of them. This woman is a danger to society, has already killed one child. She must be held accountable, & receive a prison sentence.

Concerned Citizen

That is false information. They have 50/50 custody of their children. It was also verified in trial by LCPD that she has no criminal record or priors which is being falsely reported. She was actually the victim and not the cause of the accident her ex husband claimed. She was turning into her neighborhood on a green light and was hit by a truck running a red light.

Lynda Amason

Definitely this woman should be locked up to prevent anyone else getting killed! The evidence is there no matter. She killed someone, she outright just killed someone. What else do you need?

Gary Scoggin

What else do we need? A jury to convict her. Otherwise, we can just use this forum to organize lynch mobs.

Jim Forsythe

Gary is right, we were not in the court room, but the 12 on the jury were. Two of the 12 were not convinced that she was guilty to the level that was required .
What may sum it up is this statement,
"Mark Thiessen, attorney for the defendant, said the outcome rested squarely on the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office."“I blame the state’s last-minute scrambling, trying to get experts and opinions within two weeks of trial,” Thiessen said. “They learned about the problems with this case in June and didn’t fix any of it.”


Gary Miller

Was she drunk? Was she driving drunk? Did her drunk driving kill a child? Guilty!

Concerned Citizen

She wasn’t drunk at all. She didn’t even smell like alcohol and her blood was negative for all medicines, yet she’s taken adderall for the past 8 years. It’s not her blood! There is huge reasonable doubt all through this. The State needs to fold. Thiessen is retrying the case for free. The jury heard all the evidence and was 10-2 for Not Guilty. It’s not a crime, it’s a civil law suit.

George Croix

"It’s not her blood!"

That's a claim and a half. If so, it's a MAJOR screwup.....or even possibly a setup...
BUT, a DNA test of the sample being used as evidence against the defendant and one fresh from her would clear that up.....unless the original sample has disappeared....
If it has, maybe that's a good reason why a hung jury or verdict of not guilty has been rendered.....

George Croix

The 'Durst Effect' strikes again???

Reggie Barnett

Let's see, this family was just sitting in stopped traffic and was rear ended at a high rate of speed and their daughter was killed. It wasn't the seat that killed the little girl, it was the driver whether she was drunk or not and that is murder pretty simple to me.

Gary Scoggin

Two juries thought differently. That’s why we don’t try cases in the newspaper.

Jon Babara

Yep, I guess you can drink and drive in Galveston county and just blame the seatbelt killed the person and your free.

George Croix

One of the people involved in this got thrown into a GRAVE, forever, lest we forget......

Gary Scoggin

Of course we don't forget that. All I'm saying is that it's a hell of a lot easier to convict someone in a newspaper forum than it is when sitting on a jury hearing the facts and the arguments.

George Croix

Gary, I once served on a Jury where, in the first 5 minutes, one juror announced to the other 11 of us that NO Way would she convict an 18 year old of manslaughter, no matter what the evidence showed.
She was removed and a replacement was made.........
So, I may be forgiven, or not, either way OK with me, for being a bit cynical about jurors and verdicts rendered, or not....no matter what the evidence shows.....

Gary Scoggin

Maybe so, but the jury system is what we have, as imperfect as it may be. But it’s still much better than trial by newspaper. Or, worse yet, trial by social media.

George Croix

Other than the geography of the proceedings, there's not a lot of difference to very many people anymore, imo.....

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