Pott. County jury convicts man in 2018 manslaughter case

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star
Christian Trey Key

A Pottawatomie County jury on Tuesday convicted a man of felony first-degree manslaughter in connection with a 2018 crash at Harrison and Federal Streets that claimed the life of a Shawnee woman.

Christian Trey Key, 25, stood trial in Pottawatomie County District Court and was accused of causing the death of his passenger, Tanya Lynn Wolfe, 47, of Shawnee, on Saturday, April 13, 2018, court records show.

Key was accused of recklessly driving a 2004 Toyota Corolla when he drove across the center line near Harrison and Federal Streets and into oncoming traffic. His vehicle struck a 2000 Dodge Ram pickup head-on, with that collision resulting in Wolfe's death.

Assistant District Attorney Greg Wilson , who called several witnesses to testify, said Key was driving under suspension on the night of the crash. A Department of Public Safety witness testified that it was Key's third case of driving under suspension and that Key's driver's license, on the night of the fatal accident, had been suspended a total of four years, Wilson said.

The jury deliberated about an hour late Tuesday afternoon before returning the guilty verdict. Wilson said the jury has recommended Key should serve at least four years in prison; formal sentencing has been set in April.

Associate District Judge Tracy McDaniel presided over the trial, which began Monday.

Key was taken into custody after the verdict and is being held in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center while awaiting his formal sentencing date.

Wilson said prosecutors are glad to get justice for Wolfe's family with this felony conviction.

The case, originally filed in 2018 as a first-degree manslaughter charge, was dropped to a misdemeanor negligent homicide count following preliminary hearing, Wilson said, but prosecutors appealed the judge's decision. As a result, a Logan County judge was appointed to hear the matter and overturned that decision, resulting in the case moving forward as a felony first-degree manslaughter case.

Watch for updates.