Lauren Renee Scott

Lauren Renee Scott

 
Annapolis, MD – A tragic Valentine’s Day story reached an epilogue moment Friday, June 8 as the at-fault driver in the multi-vehicle crash that claimed the lives of a young St. Mary’s couple in 2016 was sentenced. Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Donna H. Schaeffer handed down a 20-year sentence to defendant Lauren Renee Scott of North Beach for two counts of negligent manslaughter in the deaths of Daniel and Kayla Amos of California. Schaeffer suspended all but eight years of the sentence and gave Scott credit for time served.

On the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2016, the Amos’s were traveling on Old Solomons Island Road (Route 2) in Edgewater when they were involved in the crash, which police investigators determined was started when the eastbound vehicle Scott was driving crossed the center line. The Honda Civic the Amos’s were traveling westbound in was struck and overturned. Six months later Scott was indicted on 13 counts, including drug-related charges. Earlier this year Scott entered guilty pleas for the two counts of negligent manslaughter. While Scott’s attorney, Eugene M. Whissel, had conceded his client had drug problems, he contended Scott was not under the influence of drugs when the crash occurred. Whissel told the court Scott’s “anxiety and insomnia” might have been a factor in her regrettable actions. “What Lauren was doing was trying to get to work,” said Whissel.

Daniel and Kayla Amos were headed home after celebrating their six-month wedding anniversary in Annapolis. The Annapolis courtroom was packed with family and friends of the young couple. Many in attendance wore red shirts in support of the grief-stricken family. “There’s a reason you see a sea of red,” said Anne Arundel County Deputy State’s Attorney Jonathon Church, who noted evidence that Scott was heavily into drugs, with evidence that included text messages to a drug dealer. “She began using opiates in high school,” said Church, who chronicled the defendant’s past that included several attempts at rehabilitation and a driving record that included numerous speeding violations. “By her own admission she dabbled in opiates,” said Church.

“As innocent victims of Ms. Scott’s poor decisions and as casualties of an ever-widening opiate addiction epidemic, Dan and Kayla are now a part of the conversation concerning solutions, treatment and education,” said Kevin Amos, Dan’s father. “Prevention and rehabilitation are absolutely high priority concerns but we adamantly insist that the very real consequences of one’s actions play an equal part in the strategy to combat this epidemic.”

“I may not have been living it for years or dealt with it daily since February 14, 2016 but I do consider myself a mom that lost her children to heroin,” stated Jacqueline Cosner, Kayla Amos’ mother. “If not for the all-night bender of a person who just wanted to get through the night and then get to work, and then decided it was perfectly fine to get behind the wheel of a 5,000 pound weapon, my daughter and son-in-law would still be here.”

Over 50 impact statements on behalf of Dan and Kayla Amos’ family were submitted to the court. Many spoke of the couple’s devotion to God, their friends, families and especially each other. Church stated it was one of the heaviest volumes of impact statements he has ever seen during his career as an attorney.

Whissel read to the court several statements submitted by Scott’s family members, who contended a severe intestinal illness the defendant has been plagued with since birth caused her dependence on opiates. “She was always hurting,” stated Kelly Lee Scott in a letter to the court. “I know my sister has deep remorse.”

“I’ve made some bad decisions,” Lauren Scott told the court, adding she feels responsible for the two lives lost. Scott stated she has a picture of Dan and Kayla Amos in her room, “and I talk to them often.” The defendant said she was prepared to face the court’s sentence, adding, “I would like to help others going through similar situations.”

Schaeffer called the matter “one of the saddest cases” she has ever presided over. To Scott, Schaeffer said, “you were aware enough to pull over. You knew you couldn’t drive.”

Scott, who had been on home detention since late last year, was remanded to the custody of Anne Arundel County authorities after the sentence was imposed. Schaeffer also imposed five years of probation and driving restrictions. She urged Scott to take advantage of drug rehabilitation programs while she is incarcerated in the Maryland Department of Corrections facility.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com


Previous Story

Annapolis, MD – Anne Arundel Circuit Court officials reported that a Calvert County woman has pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter in connection with a 2016 motor vehicle accident that claimed the lives of a St. Mary’s County couple. The crash occurred on Valentine’s Day on Route 2 in Edgewater.

The defendant, Lauren Renee Scott, 28 of North Beach, was northbound on Route 2 when her vehicle crossed the centerline and collided head-on with Honda Civic occupied by Daniel and Kayla Amos, both 21 of California. The young couple was returning home after celebrating their six-month wedding anniversary. Both died of injuries sustained in the collision.

Dan and Kayla AmosIn July 2016 a 13-count indictment was handed down in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. “Traffic Safety subsequently assumed responsibility for the crash investigation and found the primary cause was Ms. Scott’s failure to remain right of the centerline,” an Anne Arundel County Police Department report stated. “The investigation, closely coordinated with the [Anne Arundel County] State’s Attorney’s Office, also found probable cause that Ms. Scott was driving under the influence of a drug (marijuana and opiates) and/or controlled dangerous substance, which directly contributed to the crash and the subsequent deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Amos.”

Late last year Scott, who had been jailed after she was charged, was allowed to instead be confined to her residence.

A sentencing date of June 9 has been tentatively been set.

 

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