Kerry Kennedy begins drugged-driving trial
(WJLA) - Kerry Kennedy told the jury it was an honest mistake – she accidentally took a sleeping pill and didn’t notice the side effects until it was too late.
The 54-year-old niece of President JFK side-swiped a tractor trailer with her car in July 2012 near her home just north of New York City. No one was hurt, but a groggy Kennedy failed three sobriety tests and was charged with driving on drugs.
She testified on Wednesday that she must have been distracted by the many steps it took to make her morning cappuccino – by accidentally grabbing the sleep aid Ambien instead of her daily thyroid pill.
In the courtroom today, members of Kennedy’s storied family, including her 85-year-old mother Ethel and her sister, Rory.
Prosecutors argue that mistake or not, Kennedy should have noticed she was falling asleep and pulled over,
"if I realized I was impaired,” Kennedy told the jury, "I would have pulled over."
She also talked about her father, Senator RFK, who was assassinated when she was just eight years old. Some say the Kennedy name is a big factor in this misdemeanor case.
"I think the defense attorneys want this jury to say, 'What are we doing here? Why are we here?' The prosecutors - -the last thing they want is for people in the public to say she's being treated differently, she's getting better treatment because she's Kerry Kennedy," said Dan Abrams, Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News.
A parade of character witnesses also testified, claiming that Kennedy is honest and has an impeccable reputation.
If convicted, Kennedy, who is also the ex-wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, could lose her driver’s license and get up to a year in jail.