INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is still investigating whether to file additional charges in the deaths of an Indianapolis mother and an emergency physician.
Kelli Anderson, 55, was in court Monday for her initial hearing on one count of reckless homicide and six counts of criminal recklessness.
The charges stem from a June 9 crash at North Keystone Avenue and 52nd Street that eventually led to the death of 28-year-old Kiana Burns. Burns’ mother, Denise Gatling, was in the courtroom to see the woman who is accused of killing her daughter.
“She wanted Kiana to have a presence here,” attorney Dustin Fregiato said. “She wanted Kiana to know that she is being represented here.”
Fregiato is representing Gatling in any civil matter that arise from the crash.
“We are looking into all avenues of who might have responsibility as to why this tragedy happened,” Fregiato said.
A judge entered a preliminary plea of not guilty on Anderson’s behalf. She is being held on a $100,000 bond and was appointed a public defender.
The prosecutor’s office filed a motion to suspend Anderson’s driver’s license. The judge took it under advisement and said the state will have to file additional paperwork before a hearing on that motion is scheduled.
“We think it’s completely justifiable that the state should suspend her license,” Fregiato said. “We only wish that there were avenues that this could’ve been done prior to this tragedy happening.”
Anderson was also the driver who hit and killed Dr. Brian Dillman on May 19 near 49th Street and Meridian Street, according to court documents. Following that crash, she was told by her physicians not to drive for six months until she was cleared by a neurologist.
After the crash that killed Kiana, Anderson told police she suffers from life-threatening allergies and epilepsy. Anderson told police she was still allowed to drive because “nothing is wrong with her brain, and her illness is all due to allergies.”
“Seasonal allergies aren’t typically considered to be predisposing factor for epilepsy,” neurosurgeon Dr. Kunal Gupta said.
Gupta, who has not reviewed Anderson’s medical records and has no connection to the case, said epilepsy is a disorder of the brain and is difficult to live with.
Court documents reveal Anderson was taking the epilepsy medication Topamax. Gupta said medicine is not a cure.
“Patients can have breakthrough seizures even on medication,” Gupta said, “often necessitating two or three increased doses of medication or even more.”
The prosecutor’s office is still waiting on toxicology results from both crashes, and that is part of its ongoing investigation.
“We will go to wherever the evidence takes us, and whoever is responsible for allowing this tragedy happened will hopefully be brought to justice,” Fregiato said.
“Including the State of Indiana?” FOX59 reporter Max Lewis asked.
“If that’s where the evidence takes us,” Fregiato replied.
Kiana left behind four children; the youngest was born just last year. The family’s attorney said they’re struggling to come to the realization that their mom is never coming home.
“The oldest, being 8, is now going through the emotions of learning how to cope with the preventable loss of his mother,” Fregiato said. “Even he asked why this woman was allowed to continue to drive. If an 8-year-old can process that, why can’t others?”
If Anderson is able to make bond, she will be prohibited from driving. She will be back in court for a pre-trial hearing at the end of August.
Her trial is schedule for Sept. 1.