Cozmanoff Moved to Different Jail After “Guilty” Verdict for Homicide of Lake County Jailer
December 12, 2013 — A Lake County jury says Lakes of the Four Seasons man Jason Cozmanoff is guilty as charged with reckless homicide in the death of Britney Meux.
Meux was a 25-year-old Lake County correction officer when she died last year from injuries in a collision with a vehicle as she was running near the jail. Cozmanoff’s conviction yesterday put him in Lake County custody immediately, for hitting Meux and three of her Lake County correction officer colleagues who were jogging March 6, 2012.
Today’s booking roster for the Porter County jail in Valparaiso shows Jason Cozmanoff as an inmate there, for “safekeeping.”
Yesterday, the jury reached its verdict this afternoon, 20 minutes after it requested the court replay a 911 call placed by correctional officer David Murchek just after the accident.
On March 6, 2012, Murchek along with fellow county officers Meux, Latasha Johnson and Delano Scaife were jogging along 93rd Avenue just north of the Lake County Government Center when they were struck by a GMC Yukon driven by Jason Cozmanoff.
Today during closing arguments Cozmanoff’s attorney said his clients does not deny driving the vehicle or being involved in the collision. However, they claim Cozmanoff was not aware that he had struck pedestrians, he’d hit a tree or animal. They also contend that the position of the officers in the roadway and the dark clothing they were wearing made them difficult to see them and that Cozmanoff was not a criminal, just a driver involved in a tragic accident.
During its closing remarks the prosecution told jurors that Cozmanoff’s excessive speed was reckless and that his actions after the crash were, “Massively inconsistent with someone who did not realize he had caused injury to others.”
Meux died in the incident, and autopsy information during the trial indicated that she suffered massive trauma in several parts of her body. The 25-year-old county officer left an infant daughter.
Today’s verdict came in the second week of testimony in the trial, and on the 44th birthday of Cozmanoff, convicted of 11 felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of crimes.
A trial in June ended in a mistrial when a jury pool member informed the court he had witnessed the accident with as many as 30 others who were looking out a window at the Lake County Work Release Center.