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Man found not guilty in crash that killed 5-year-old

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at 6:34 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at 7:09 p.m.

A Sedgwick County jury on Friday found Matthew Noel not guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 5-year-old Amber Randolph, who was killed in a crash that prosecutors said was caused by two drivers who were racing on West Kellogg.

The jury also acquitted Noel, 27, of an aggravated battery charge that was filed in connection with injuries to Amber’s mother.

A second defendant in the case, Ron Bevan, 30, was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison after he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in January.

Prosecutors said Noel’s truck crashed head-on into the Randolphs’ car after the truck sailed over a concrete median near Kellogg and Seneca in February 2011.

A mistrial was declared at Noel’s first trial in December after a jury split 6-6 over whether the state had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that his actions were reckless.

A blood test administered more than two hours after the crash showed Bevan’s blood-alcohol level to be 0.15 – nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08. Testimony showed that Noel’s blood alcohol level was 0.03. Noel contended he was cut off by Bevan, who caused the accident.

Noel spoke with members of the jury outside the courthouse but declined to comment to The Eagle.

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