Trial to begin Jan. 19 in motorcycle fatality


A Delaware woman charged with vehicular manslaughter will go on trial Jan. 19 in Delaware Municipal Court.

Marilyn Fowler, 60, of 33 Downing Road, is charged in connection with the death last summer of Keith Estep, 29, of 16 Hedgerow Lane.

Fowler entered a not guilty plea to one charge of vehicular manslaughter, a second-degree misdemeanor, and a right of way violation, a minor misdemeanor, at her arraignment on Oct. 9.

She was scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Dec. 9 and a trial date of Jan. 19 was then scheduled. Fowler is also scheduled for a final pre-trial hearing on Jan 15.

She has not been incarcerated and was released on a recognizance bond after her arraignment.

The charges stem from an Aug. 4 traffic crash on London Road.

Fowler asked Sunderman to appoint a public defender to advise her on the case, because she is unemployed and cannot afford one.

Judge David Sunderman said Fowler could be sentenced to jail time, a fine or a license suspension.

Prosecutors said Fowler has been cooperating in the investigation of the crash.

Police said Estep was traveling east on London Road near South Washington Street about 3:50 p.m. Aug. 4 at an estimated speed of 50 mph. Estep was operating a yellow 2003 Suzuki motorcycle. The speed limit is 35 mph on that stretch of road.

A police crash report indicates that Fowler was stopped while traveling west on London Road and was preparing to make a left turn into a private driveway. The report says Fowler started her left turn in Estep’s path and Estep could not stop in time.

Estep reportedly hit Fowler’s Gray 2005 Mercury Mariner on the side.

Police and rescue units arrived minutes later and Estep was transported by Delaware paramedics to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.

Fowler reportedly sustained minor injuries. Her car was reportedly disabled in the crash.

Drugs and alcohol were not believed to be a factor in the crash at the time, and Fowler said she was not distracted when she made the turn, police said.

No other vehicles or persons were involved in the crash, the report stated.

Fowler at an earlier court appearance. at an earlier court appearance.


By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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