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Trial set for 2022 for woman charged in Brentwood officer's death

Ashley Kroese faces vehicular homicide, other charges
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Posted at 11:26 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 12:44:52-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Williamson County judge went through motion hearings and set a court date Wednesday morning in the vehicular homicide case of a Brentwood Police Department officer.

Judge James Martin ruled there was probable cause to take a blood sample of Ashley Kroese, of Thompson's Station, despite her attorney's motion that her blood was taken illegally.

Kroese is accused of killing Destin Legieza, after driving head-on into his police vehicle in front of the Brentwood Market in 2020 on Franklin Road. Legieza died at the scene, and is the only officer to ever die on duty in the department's 50-year history.

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Brentwood Police Officer Destin Legieza

"The defense said the warrant itself didn’t contain probable cause, and the state’s argument was that such erratic and egregious driving behavior in and of itself is an indicator of establishment to make probable cause," Williamson County Assistant District Attorney Carlin Hess said.

Back in September 2020, Kroese's attorney Lee Ofman said the blood draw was done before police got a search warrant. But the state said that didn't matter, because the blood draw was a medical procedure, not requested by police, indicating the alcohol analysis on the blood was only done after the search warrant was filed. Police said during her bond hearing in 2020 that Kroese's blood alcohol level was 0.166, which is double the legal limit.

Ofman wasn't immediately available for comment after Wednesday's hearing.

In addition to the hearing Wednesday, court officials set the case for trial starting Feb. 14, 2022.

Kroese faces one vehicular homicide charge, one aggravated assault charge, one reckless endangerment with a vehicle felony charge and one charge of driving on the right hand side of the road.

What happened the day of the crash

Kroese and Legieza's vehicles both suffered front-end damage, according to court documents.

Documents provided to the court also showed the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigation put Kroese traveling north on Franklin Road in the southbound lane, ultimately going the wrong direction.

Authorities indicated Legieza wasn't wearing his seatbelt during the crash.

Jason Lamb contributed to this story.