A grand jury recently indicted a man suspected of causing a fatal accident late last year in Platte County on 12 total charges, including a Class B felony count of first degree involuntary manslaughter.
Adam R. Shaw, who turns 39 on Oct. 14, is due in court on the morning of Oct. 3 for a hearing almost a year after his involvement in a three-vehicle accident that caused the death of a Kansas City, Kan. woman. He can only be convicted on up to six counts; the second six counts are alternative charges.
Prosecutors occasionally provide multiple sets of charges to give the jury options in considering punishment.
According to court documents, Shaw was operating a 2013 Freightliner semi-truck on the morning of Oct. 29, 2013, driving northbound on Highway 45 in slick conditions near Farley, Mo. when it entered the southbound lane of traffic. Shaw’s vehicle struck Catherine B. Nienaber’s 2006 Toyota Siena head-on.
Nienaber was prounounced dead at the scene, while her 7-year-old son Gerard Nienaber — riding in the passenger’s seat — went to a local hospital with serious injuries.
Shaw’s semi also struck the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado of Rodney Griffin, whose vehicle traveled down an embankment. According to a probable cause statement, Shaw consented to a breath test at the scene, and his blood-alcohol content registered a .116 — above the legal limit.
The felony charge stemming from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and killing a fellow motorist carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. He also faces two Class C felony charges of second-degree assault for inflicting the injuries upon Gerard Nienaber and Griffin while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol in the first set of charges.
The alternative charges start with a Class C felony for reckless involuntary manslaughter, and the Class C felonies for assault also don’t include the condition of intoxication. The jury in the case will have the ability to decide if Shaw was intoxicated, reckless or neither in causing the accident with its verdict.
Both sets of charges also include a trio of felonies for armed criminal action. Shaw could face an unlimited number of years in prison because those charges carry a minimum of three years with no maximum.
Shaw remains in custody on a $250,00 cash-only bond.