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Kerry Kennedy Trial Begins Monday In White Plains

Bedford resident Kerry Kennedy will appear in court on Monday in White Plains to face charges of driving under the influence of a sleeping pill.
Bedford resident Kerry Kennedy will appear in court on Monday in White Plains to face charges of driving under the influence of a sleeping pill. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Bedford resident Kerry Kennedy will appear in court Monday for the beginning of her drugged driving trial .

Kennedy is facing charges of driving with ability impaired by drugs. The charges stem from a July 2012 accident, when police say her car hit a tractor-trailer on I-684 in Armonk. Toxicology reports showed that she had the sleep medication Ambien in her system at the time of the accident.

Kennedy, 54, is the ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and niece of President John F. Kennedy. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges , saying that she suffered from a partial seizure while driving. She has also said that she may have accidentally taken the Ambien instead of her thyroid medication.

Kennedy's attorneys Gerald Lefcourt and William Aronwald have filed twice to have the charges dropped, saying that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to support the charges. The first motion was denied in May, and the second was denied following her most recent court appearance on Jan. 23 .

Aronwald said that Kennedy can not be found guilty because she took the medication accidentally, and that the burden of proof is on the prosecutors to prove otherwise.

"I don't think the district attorney's office is going to present any evidence to the contrary," Aronwald said Friday. "We are extremely confident that at the end of the day the jury will find for Ms. Kennedy."

Earlier this year the case was moved from the court in North Castle to White Plains because the North Castle one was deemed to small to handle such a high profile case. Jury selection for the trial took place Thursday and Friday of last week. Kennedy was not present during jury selection because she was out of the country, but she will be present when the case begins Monday at the Westchester County Court in White Plains.

Aronwald said that a final decision has not been made on whether or not Kennedy will testify herself, but the assumption is that she will. He said she is anxious for the trial to start.

"She is very confident and optimistic about what the outcome will be," Aronwald said.

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