Teen driver may not be convicted despite drinking videos found by NewsChannel 3

Posted at 7:12 PM, Mar 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-19 06:45:16-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Officers on Tuesday testified 19-year-old driver Alexanda Liebig twice told them she had not been drinking after an accident that ended in the death of one of her passengers, Chris Pardee. A police breath test and online videos disputed that.

A NewsChannel 3 investigation uncovered online videos posted that night that showed Liebig, who goes by "Alexa," drinking beer hours before the accident. Most of the testimony Tuesday at the judge's bench was so quiet and hushed it couldn't be heard in the courtroom.

When Liebig's case was called, her mother moved from the back of the court to a seat behind a reporter and repeatedly coughed, hacked and cleared her throat. Officers testified they found Alexa Liebig tending to Pardee after the accident. The officers testified they heard that Pardee either tried to ride on the roof of the car or that he climbed out of the window and fell to the pavement. He died days later. One officer testified Liebig told him she didn't know what happened. His mother, Diane Pardee, has said she doesn't believe those stories.

An officer told the judge Liebig registered a 0.027 on a preliminary breath test. That's well below the DUI limit for drivers old enough to drink. But it exceeds the state's 0.02 level for teen drivers. However Liebig was never charged with anything more serious than underage possession of alcohol.

After our stories, police opened their own investigation into why Liebig wasn't dealt with more strictly by the officers.

Today in court, a judge found enough evidence to convict her, but delayed her ruling. If Liebig stays out of trouble for six months, she won't have a conviction on her record.

No one was charged for Pardee's death. Another passenger in the car, Erin Robertson, was charged with taking advantage of the tragedy and stealing Pardee's $3,000 camera. He's in jail awaiting trial.


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