A Riley man was found guilty of second-degree murder for the death of his 6-year-old daughter, who died in a DUI wreck late last year.
Joshua Mall, 39, was in the Riley District Courthouse after an impromptu hearing was called Friday morning.
Mall originally wasn’t due back in court until his jury trial scheduled for Aug. 23-26, but his defense waived that trial and instead asked Chief Judge Meryl Wilson for an immediate bench trial based on agreed stipulated facts.
The state did not oppose.
Wilson found Mall guilty on all counts against him, which included the second-degree murder charge, marijuana possession, open container and failure to have a child in a safety seat.
Mall was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.13 when he collided with another vehicle and then struck a tree on the evening of Oct. 5, 2015, near the 2400 block of Tuttle Creek Blvd. in Manhattan.
His daughter, Madilyn, was a passenger in his vehicle and died in the wreck.
The legal BAC in Kansas is no greater than .08.
Mall will be sentenced on Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. and could face at least 194 months (16 years) in the state penitentiary.
The state asked Wilson to revoke Mall’s bond, but that motion was denied. However, Wilson did order increased bond supervision leading to his sentencing in September. Mall has been wearing an ankle bracelet and has been monitored for drug and alcohol intake.
Mall’s defense informed Wilson it intends to appeal Judge David Stutzman’s previous ruling on allowing past convictions and his blood alcohol test results to be considered in the case.
That ruling played heavy Friday, when those past convictions were considered in Wilson’s ruling.
In May, Mall’s defense argued that his previous history shouldn’t be submitted to a jury. In 2001 Mall pleaded guilty to a charge of vehicular homicide in Larimer County, Colo. As a part of his plea agreement in that case, prosecutors dropped two counts of driving under the influence.
Along with that charge, other stipulated facts included a reckless driving charge from an incident south of Riley on Nov. 30, 2011, when he drove 92 mph in a 65 mph zone on Walnut Creek Road. He slid off the road and into a ditch.
But largely, the stipulated facts covered the evening of Oct. 5, 2015, that resulted in the death of his daughter.
On that afternoon at 2 p.m., Mall bought one liter of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey from the Riley Liqour Store in Riley. By approximately 6:45 p.m. that day, he’d consumed over half the bottle and allowed his daughter into his pickup, a 2001 Ford Ranger.
He later was found driving aggressively on Tuttle Creek Boulevard according to a witness who was driving in front of Mall said the defendant was driving uncomfortably close behind. Mall then swerved and rapidly accelerated his vehicle in an effort to go around the witness. In doing so, Mall’s pickup clipped the side of the other vehicle and he lost control of his pickup.
His pickup began to skid, went into a ditch and crashed into a tree.
His daughter died in the wreck.
According to an investigation by the Kansas Highway Patrol, Mall was driving in excess of 81 mph when he lost control of his pickup.