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Colorado woman pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in fatal St. Croix crash

Colorado woman pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in fatal St. Croix crash

KINGSHILL — A woman charged with killing another driver in a fatal crash on St. Croix has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, according to Superior Court records.

Kaley Lund was 27 years old when she was arrested on October 25, 2020 and charged with involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a driver’s license in connection with the death of Marvin Barton, 25.

Lund spent one night in jail before posting $5,000 cash to secure her $50,000 bail, and has been awaiting trial ever since.

Lund appeared in court on March 7 and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison.

Photo of the accident scene by: Reginald Petersen

Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than four years, but the parties acknowledged it’s ultimately up to the judge’s discretion, according to the plea agreement.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 31.

The case began just after 1 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, October 25, 2020, when police responded to the scene of a crash on Queen Mary Highway near Kmart in Frederiksted, according to the probable cause fact sheet filed by police.

Officers said they found Barton dead behind the wheel of a silver 2020 Hyundai Elantra, and his passenger was injured and transported to the Juan F. Luis Hospital. The passenger told police in an interview that Barton was driving eastbound when she suddenly saw two lights “coming directly at them and the next thing she remembers was people telling her to hold on,” according to the fact sheet.

Police found gouge marks in the road and determined the crash occurred in Barton’s lane. Police said Lund failed three field sobriety tests at the scene, and refused to submit to a chemical test. Officers found a “partially-drunk Corona beer” in Lund’s Jeep, and “an empty Corona beer bottle on the passenger side floor” of the Elantra, according to the fact sheet.

Living the high life on St. Croix: Kaley Lund, 27

Lund told police she dropped her boyfriend off at the Luis Hospital and was headed home “and fell asleep.”

At Lund’s initial court appearance, Assistant Virgin Islands Attorney General Jasmine Griffin said Lund was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Colorado, and was found guilty of driving drunk in that earlier case. Lund did not have a driver’s license in any jurisdiction, had only been in the territory for about a year, and has few ties to the Virgin Islands.

“She should not, and must not continue to be allowed to drive here,” Griffin said at the time.

Lund and her boyfriend, who owned the car she was driving at the time of the crash, were also named as defendants in three civil lawsuits, filed by Barton’s mother, Barton’s passenger, and the driver of the car behind Barton’s. All of the civil claims were settled in 2023, according to court records.

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