Music News

Driver In Accident That Killed Silver Medallion's Carnegie Indicted for Manslaughter

Kathryn Elizabeth Hetrick, the teenage driver allegedly responsible for the accident that killed Phoenix hip-hop artist Carnegie last fall was indicted this past week.
According to Jerry Cobb, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, a grand jury handed down three indictments on February 1 against Hetrick, including one count of manslaughter in connection with the death of Carneige (a.k.a. Abay Lattin).

Hetrick was behind the wheel of a Ford Expedition that crashed into the car carrying Carneige and local hip-hop artist Hejus Trife last September near Arizona State University in Tempe.

Per officials from Tempe Police Department and court documents obtained by New Times, Hetrick allegedly showed "symptoms of alcohol impairment" at the scene.

Hetrick was also indicted on two counts of aggravated assault as a result of injuries sustained by Trife and a passenger in the Expedition. (ASU student Matthew West was also killed after hitting wreckage from the accident on his motorcycle approximately one minute later, although no charges were ever filed against Hetrick in connection with his death.)

Although no trial date has been set, Cobb stated that Hetrick will be tried as an adult, despite the fact she was 17 years old at the time of the accident.

I recently interviewed Carneige's Silver Medallion partner Oren J. for an upcoming story on the group and asked about his feelings in regards to Hetrick and the accident. He provided me with a somewhat nebulous response:

"I was really angry at her after it happened, but that was just quick emotions," he says. "I can't really find it within myself to bear her any super ill will, but at the same time, if life has determined that she's gonna get punished for this, then I believe that's just."

The indictments come of the eve of the release of Silver Medallion's new album No One Ever Really Dies, which Oren says will be available tomorrow via the Internet and will serve as a tribute to Carnegie. Although the album can be downloaded for free, Oren is asking fans to make a donation to M.A.D.D.

UPDATE: A few hours after this blog was published, Oren J. posted the following on his Facebook page:

"To everyone who read the blurb about the drunk driver that killed Abay being indicted, I changed my opinion from that quote. I hope she gets a chance. She's 17. I hope she uses this point in her life to bring about positivity, it was enough for one person's life to be ruined and the repercussions were so painful for so many, its hard in all these interviews. I'm not mature enough to not let my emotions get ahold of me."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.