Update: The Caitlyn Jenner Vehicular Manslaughter Charge Is Officially In

Photo: Rex/REX USA.
Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney's office will not be filing vehicular manslaughter charges against Caitlyn Jenner, according to a report from Variety. Though no further information has been made available at this time, we'll continue to update unfolding events as they progress.

This story was originally published on August 20, 2015.
Though the world has spent the better part of 2015 talking about Caitlyn Jenner's transition, the reality star and trans advocate has been dealing with behind-the-scenes turbulence about an unrelated matter for months. On February 7, Jenner was behind the wheel of a black Cadillac Escalade that rear-ended a Lexus sedan; the sedan slammed into a Toyota Prius, causing the Lexus to cross the lane into oncoming traffic and ultimately collide with a black Hummer. The Lexus driver, Kim Howe, 69, was killed. Jenner was not injured, but at the time it was unclear as to her level of responsibility in the fatal accident. In June, she was placed under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes Division. In July, it was concluded that Jenner would not face felony charges. However, the ordeal isn't over yet. According to local station KTLA, Sheriff's Department Detective Richard Curry said that Jenner had violated the speed law during the crash. Sheriff's Department spokesperson Nicole Nishida also told the outlet that possible manslaughter charges would be recommended, though there has not yet been a final decision from the district attorney's office. If convicted of a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge, Jenner could face a maximum of one year in jail plus a $1,000 fine, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut shared with Refinery29 in a phone call today. "But you get day for day credit," he explained, "so it would actually only be 180 days of actual jail time served." Kraut expressed reservations as to whether or not charges would eventually be filed at all — and that the clock is ticking on the statute of limitations for this case. Prosecutors have until February 2016 to file charges, he said. "Frankly, if they haven't done it by now, they're not going to. No new facts are going to come out." Then, of course, there's the matter of proving Jenner's culpability. Detective Curry told The Los Angeles Times that she was driving at an unsafe speed for the road conditions when the cars collided, but she was not driving above the speed limit. But it's clear from video of the incident that had the Hummer been in its proper lane, the hit would not have been direct on — and Howe might have lived. "A prosecutor’s going to say: There’s other acts in play — other than Caitlyn — that contributed to this accident and death. Therefore, that negligence is shared among other people," Kraut told us. "There’s no way to prove the person who killed her." Both Howe's stepchildren and the driver of the Prius have filed lawsuits against Jenner. Days after the crash, the former Olympian issued the following statement: "My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident. It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them. I will continue to cooperate in every way possible."

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