Virginia Beach man acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in fatal 2019 crash

Missing Gavel
Posted at 8:35 AM, Oct 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-31 08:35:26-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Virginia Beach man was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter after a crash into a home left a 17-year-old girl dead in 2019.

Austin Foley was 18 when prosecutors say he crashed his pickup truck into a home on South Parliament Drive in Virginia Beach. All three people in Foley's truck were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, and one of them, a teenage girl, died from her injuries.

Foley filed a motion to withdraw his appeal on the misdemeanors he was convicted of in lower court: driving without an operator's license, driving without a seatbelt and reckless driving. He will serve a six-month sentence in jail and pay $775 in fines in connection with those charges.

Judge James Lewis, after a trial on the involuntary manslaughter charge, said he could not "make the leap to guilt beyond a reasonable doubt" in Foley's case and found him not guilty.

Court documents also stated that there was no evidence that Foley was under the influence of alcohol, and the driving behavior that led to the involuntary manslaughter charge was excessive, reckless speed and driving without a license.

"The not guilty verdict does not diminish the immense loss the victim's family has suffered and Mr. Foley would be the first to acknowledge that," said James Broccoletti, Foley's defense counsel. "The verdict reflects the court's proper application of the law to the facts and the failure of the Commonwealth's evidence. It was an emotional trial with the correct result."