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Kerry Kennedy Trial To Begin In February In Westchester

Kerry Kennedy (left) exits the courthouse in White Plains Thursday, where she is facing charges of driving under the influence of a sleeping pill.
Kerry Kennedy (left) exits the courthouse in White Plains Thursday, where she is facing charges of driving under the influence of a sleeping pill. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Bedford resident Kerry Kennedy's trial for driving under the influence will begin on Monday, Feb. 24 in White Plains.

Kennedy appeared in Westchester County Court on Thursday for a pretrial conference, where the court date was set by Judge Robert Neary.

The jury selection for the trail will take place Thursday, Feb. 20 and Friday, Feb. 21, though Kennedy will not be present for those days because she will be out of the country.

Kennedy is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, niece of John F. Kennedy and ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She was arrested in July 2012 in Armonk after an accident in which her Lexus hit a tractor-trailer.

She was charged with driving under the influence of an unknown substance, a misdemeanor. She pleaded not guilty, saying that she did take some Ambien, but did so accidentally.

A motion to dismiss the case was denied in May. Kennedy's attorneys, Gerald Lefcourt and William Aronswald have filed another motion to dismiss the case, saying that the ingestion of the sleeping pill was accidental. They have also requested that the case be heard before a grand jury to determine whether Kennedy should be charged with the crime.

Lefcourt said Thursday that there was not sufficient evidence against Kennedy. He said she had accidentally taken the sleeping pill instead of thyroid medication before going to the gym.

"Nobody takes a sleeping pill to go to the gym, and that's not the kind of drug that anybody abuses. She had a valid prescription, and it's simply an accidental ingestion," Lefcourt said. "And since the people have no evidence that it was otherwise, other than an accident, we believe that the court should be considering dismissing this case.

"We think the people themselves should consider dismissing this case, because nobody can be guilty of a crime because of an accidental ingestion."