Trial for St. Helens teen facing manslaughter charges postponed
Legal proceedings for a St. Helens teen facing driving under the influence of intoxicants and manslaughter charges in connection with a fatal car crash last fall have been delayed.
A tentative four-day trial date for Kody Allen, 19, of St. Helens, was set to begin Tuesday, July 31. Court documents indicate Allen's legal counsel filed a motion last week to postpone the trial date.
Allen was arrested in September in connection with a fatal vehicle-versus-pedestrian crash on Gable Road that killed 34-year-old Arthur Studer, of St. Helens. Allen was arrested on allegations of driving under the influence, just prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year. Allen was entering his senior year of high school at the time.
Allen was indicted a month later on unrelated charges after an investigation revealed he allegedly used nitrous oxide as an inhalant while driving with several passengers in the vehicle, just days prior to the fatal crash, according to information from the Columbia County District Attorney's office.
In September, Allen was conditionally released and allowed to return to school. Court records indicate he was allowed to attend a school field trip and graduation ceremonies in June, but was required not to interact with two students who were identified by name in court documents. He was also not permitted to contact Studer's family or return to Tobacco World in St. Helens, where Allen was alleged to have purchased nitrous oxide canisters, court documents indicate.
Columbia Circuit Judge Jenefer Grant will hold a status hearing later this month, at which time the court will determine if a trial date will be set or plea will be taken.
In April, Theresa Studer, identified as a personal representative of the estate of Arthur Studer, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Allen, his parents and owners of the vehicle involved in the crash, Michael and Mary Carlson, and Vishal Nishar, the owner of Tobacco World in St. Helens.