Bench trial set for early May for Quincy woman charged with killing four in August 2020 crash

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Natasha McBride | Photo courtesy of Adams County Jail

QUINCY — A Quincy woman facing four counts of first-degree murder after a 2020 accident killed four people has chosen to have a bench trial, which has been set for May 1-3.

Natasha McBride, 39, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning with her attorney, Public Defender Todd Nelson, before Judge Tad Brenner.

Brenner asked Nelson if he was prepared to set the case for a jury trial. Nelson replied that McBride was prepared to waive her right to a jury trial and would ask to set the case for a bench trial. 

“(Do) you understand that you have a right to have a jury decide your case?” Brenner said to McBride. “If you give up your right to a jury, it would be very, very difficult for you to ever get your right to a jury back. You understand that?”

McBride said yes.

The primary difference between a jury trial and a bench trial is the decision-making authority. In a jury trial, decision making is shared between 12 people who must deliberate prior to reaching a verdict. During a bench trial, the judge is the sole individual who determines guilty or not guilty.

Nelson and Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones discussed how many days were needed for a bench trial. Jones said he anticipated at least two days, but Brenner suggested setting aside three days.

A status hearing was set for April 4.

McBride allegedly ran a traffic light at Fourth and Broadway while speeding on Aug. 14, 2020. She drove her vehicle into another vehicle driven by Jenniffer Hendricks, 54, of Rushville. Hendricks and three grandchildren — Dakota Corrick, 6, Archer Corrick, 4, and Ransom Corrick, 21 months, all of Kirksville, Mo. — were killed.

The state charged McBride on Aug. 17, 2020, with four counts of reckless homicide, four counts of driving on a revoked license and four courts of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. The state charged McBride on Aug. 20, 2020, in an indictment with those same offenses, plus four counts of first-degree murder.

The state moved on Dec. 29, 2021 for an extension of the discovery deadline. Before the court heard that motion, the state charged McBride on Jan. 11, 2022, with aggravated DUI in a 17th count, alleging McBride operated her vehicle “while under the influence of tetrahydrocannabinol” and two or more people died in the collision. 

Nelson then moved on March 15 to dismiss the 17th count on speedy-trial grounds, and Lannerd granted the motion to dismiss the 17th count on April 1. The Fourth District Appellate Court upheld her ruling on Dec. 6. The Adams County State’s Attorney’s office said earlier this month it will not file an appeal of that ruling.

McBride remains in the Adams County Jail on $5 million bond.

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