Attorney for Montgomery man charged in spring break ax speaks - - Columbia, South Carolina

Attorney for Montgomery man charged in deadly spring break accident speaks out


Montgomery defense attorney Susan James has handled a number of high profile cases that have garnered widespread media attention, including a federal government corruption case, a murder-for-hire case and deadly shooting case involving several former Auburn football players.

She has now taken on the case of 29-year-old Justin Lott, the Montgomery man at the center of an alleged drunk driving accident that claimed the life of 19-year-old Kasey Waychoff.

Both were in Gulf Shores last week at the time of the fatal incident. Waychoff, a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, was enjoying spring break with her sorority sisters and Lott was there with relatives and friends at a family event. 

"Everyone's sympathy and condolences go out to the Waychoffs on the loss of their daughter. I think everyone that has heard about it is saddened and there's just an outpouring of support and prayer for her family, in this community I know in particular, and for the Lott family. Obviously, this is a very difficult situation for them," James said during an interview at her Montgomery office. "Justin is a Montgomery native, went to school here, played sports, he's married and has a small child, been on the same job for eight years at a manufacturing company, nothing but a few minor traffic violations as kids growing up, just a super good, close-knit family."

Waychoff was walking with friends along a beach road when she was hit and killed early Friday morning. Justin Lott allegedly kept on driving. He is accused of being under the influence of alcohol. A Baldwin County Sheriff's deputy in the area spotted Lott's truck and pulled it over, leading to his arrest.

"It's hard. We're a close family and she was the only girl so there's a huge hole, a really big hole in our family right now," said Kasey Waychoff's uncle, Jeff Waychoff. 

Susan James told WSFA she couldn't talk about the allegations against Lott, saying she doesn't have enough information to discuss the facts of the case. But she says she has been to the scene of the accident on West Beach Boulevard. She describes it as a narrow, congested tourist area full of potential dangers. 

"There's a very small path for people to transgress up and down, a bicycle lane if you will," she said. "A lot of the news coverage has focused on that this happened at the hands of the drunk, those words exactly. We don't believe that the evidence is necessarily going to support that but we don't want to take a public position on that yet. But I'm just saying that with the street, the number of pedestrians, the space the pedestrians have to walk on, it's an accident waiting to happen for sure."

Justin Lott is no longer in custody. He was released from jail Tuesday on $140,000 bond. He is charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving an injury or death and driving under the influence of alcohol. 

A tentative hearing in the case has been set for May 8 in Baldwin County court, James said. 

A representative for the Baldwin County District Attorney's Office said because of the ongoing investigation their office is unable to comment on the case.

A vigil for Kasey Waychoff was held on Oklahoma State University's campus Wednesday night. Hundreds of students were expected to attend. 

Her funeral is set for Friday in her hometown of Flower Mound, Texas, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth. 

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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