Local News

Fights with friends could lead to longer sentence in wrong-way I-85 crash

Posted September 28, 2015

Chandler Michael Kania appears in an Orange County courtroom on July 23, 2015, to face murder charges in a crash on Interstate 85 that killed three people.

— An Orange County grand jury on Tuesday indicted a former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student on a dozen charges in connection with a July crash on Interstate 85 that killed three people.

The grand jury also found an aggravating factor in the case, which could increase the sentence if Chandler Michael Kania is convicted.

Kania, 20, of Asheboro, was indicted on three counts each of second-degree murder and felony death by motor vehicle and one count each of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving left of center, obtaining alcohol by a minor and underage consumption of alcohol as a minor.

State Highway Patrol troopers say Kania was driving north in the southbound lanes near the split of I-85 and Interstate 40 in Orange County on July 19 when his Jeep Wrangler collided with a Suzuki driven by Felecia Harris.

Harris, 49, of Charlotte, her friend Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, and Harris' granddaughter Jahnice Beard, 6, of Brooklyn, N.Y., were killed in the fiery wreck. Harris' daughter, Jahnia King, 9, was seriously injured.

Tests showed that Kania had a blood-alcohol content of 0.17, which is more than twice the level at which a driver is considered impaired under North Carolina law. Separate tests also showed that he had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.

Authorities said he used a fake ID to drink at two Chapel Hill bars that night and that he fought with people who tried to take his keys and prevent him from getting behind the wheel.

Those altercations led the grand jury to include the aggravating factor of "resisted the deterrence of others to commit offense" on Kania's indictment.

Kania is under house arrest awaiting trial.


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  • Brandy Lee Sep 29, 2015
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    I agree he should serve serious time but the 'white rich kid' comment is ridiculous. The fact that he is on house arrest only means he was able to make bail which is given to almost EVERYONE (unless there are extenuating circumstances) but in ADDITION they put this 'privileged' kid under house arrest to ensure he doesn't go anywhere they don't want him to. which is NOT something they do with most folks out on bail. Even awaiting a murder trial. Know the law before making assumptions. The courts gave him harsher release conditions than most.

  • Vera McGraw Sep 28, 2015
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    contacting the DA is the best thing everyone can do.....voice your opinions!!!http://www.ncdistrictattorney.org/15B/jimwoodall.htm

  • Joel Rado Sep 28, 2015
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    Kania must receive significant jail time for what he did. I do not want to see a slap on the wrist. In fact I plan to contact the district attorney's office to express my thoughts.

  • Mike Smith Sep 28, 2015
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    House Arrest doesn't neccesarly mean you are confined to home 24/7. I know people that are on house arrest and can be gone from 7a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Robert Richardson Sep 28, 2015
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    As much as my parents love me, I would still be sitting in jail for something like this. No way would they bail me out. My dad would be the first to say since I was responsible enough to use a fake ID to drink alcohol, I can also be responsible enough to sit in jail.

  • Mike Berthold Sep 28, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    House arrest after posting a $1 million bond. Unlike other where they post the bond and roam free, the judge required that he be electronically monitored and be on house arrest even after posting bond.

  • John Jung Sr. Sep 28, 2015
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