Driver who Left Two Dead in Columbia Found Guilty of Manslaughter
Joseph Gary Lawrence, of Columbia, is scheduled to be sentenced in June.
Joseph Gary Lawrence of Columbia was found guilty Wednesday of two counts of negligent manslaughter by automobile.
Judge Timothy J. McCrone ruled Lawrence, 23, caused the death of Matthew James Miranda, 22, of Columbia, and Urooj Zehra Isfahani, 31, of Columbia, after he lost control of his car around 8 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2010.
Police said that just before 8 a.m. on Nov. 10 a 2004 Saturn Ion driven by Lawrence was going westbound on MD 175 with Matthew Miranda in the passenger seat.
The car crossed the median and collided head-on with Isfahani, who was driving a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan eastbound on MD 175. Miranda was not wearing a safety belt and was ejected in the collision. Isfahani and Miranda were later pronounced dead at Howard County General Hospital.
Lawrence suffered two broken ankles and internal stomach injuries as a result of the collision, according to the statement of the facts report.
An expert in traffic reconstruction had determined Lawrence was traveling between 68 and 74 mph on a spare tire in an area with a 55 mph speed limit when the accident occurred, according to the report.
Sentencing is set for June 20. The state will recommend five years, suspending all but 18 months, plus five years of supervised probation, according to Wayne Kirwan, a spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office.