ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - 23 year-old Noah Motto was found not guilty of vehicular homicide by a jury on Tuesday. The felony charge was in connection to an incident that caused the death of his late girlfriend Ericka Dane. He was, meanwhile, found guilty of reckless driving.
Descriptions of the incident hold that Motto and Dane had been in a heated argument with one another in March of 2021. They argued outside of Dane's home while Motto got into his truck to leave. Dane attempted to convince Motto not to, and as he drove off she fell to the ground. Motto did not stop to aid or check on Dane. Her injuries proved fatal. Dane died at 18 years old of a skull fracture. The rest of her body was battered as well, including her arm, thigh, and spine.
Prosecutors and defenders disagreed on whether Motto's truck actually hit Dane. Volusia Medical Examiner James Fulcher gave testimony that he suspected it did, and that she'd been launched to the ground by the impact. The Chief Medical Examinder of the 10th Judicial Circuit, on the other hand, testified to the contrary.
In the end, the defense successfully argued that an impact could not be proven, and therefore neither could Motto's direct causation of Dane's untimely death. He was sentenced by Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano to 198 days time-served for his reckless driving charge.
Dane's mother, who gave emotional testimony in the trial, was stunned to see Motto get off. She previously described hearing the incident outside her house, not knowing she was witnessing the death of her daughter.