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Trial nears for asst. principal in traffic death case

Former assistant principal Coulter Mann is approaching his scheduled jury trial after his involvement in what authorities contend was an alcohol-related vehicle accident that killed a man.

Mann had a pretrial hearing  Thursday that was delayed for a little over an hour while his attorney and a deputy district attorney discussed possible plea deals in the judge’s chambers.

In the end, the parties couldn’t reach an agreement, visiting Judge Philip Schafer said. He encouraged them to continue their talks before the trial, which he scheduled for Jan. 13.

Mann, who was Crescent Elk Middle School’s assistant principal at the time of the wreck, faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury with an enhancement of great bodily injury, driving at or above .08 blood alcohol content causing injury with two enhancements of excessive blood alcohol content and great bodily injury and failure to drive on the traveled portion of the roadway.

The charges stem from a crash last Dec. 21 after Mann left a party attended by several other school employees, according to testimony given by California Highway Patrol Officer Ted Luna during a preliminary hearing.

Mann was driving his 2003 GMC Sierra truck north on U.S. Highway 101 when, at around 8:54 p.m., it veered into the southbound lane and hit a 2005 Ford Focus that 67-year-old Klamath resident Kenneth G. Jones was driving south of Fred Haight Drive, Luna told the court.

Jones died at the scene.

Mann allegedly registered a .2 blood alcohol content about two hours after the crash, Luna said.

The legal BAC limit in California is .08.

Reach Anthony Skeens at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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