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Defendant in two Shawnee traffic deaths waives speedy trial

Kim Morava

A Shawnee man charged in the 2019 traffic deaths of two Tecumseh teenagers appeared in court Tuesday for a pre-trial docket and waived his right to a speedy trial.

Roger D. Flint, 62, was formally charged with two counts of first-degree manslaughter in April 2019 and is accused of causing the deaths of Tecumseh High School students Logan Don Deardorff, 18, and Shelby Danielle Johnson, 17, on Jan. 26, 2019.

Flint has pleaded not guilty in the case. With a March jury term on the schedule, Flint's case was among those on Tuesday's felony disposition docket in Pottawatomie County District Court before District Judge John Canavan.

Flint waived his right to a speedy trial and the case is now set for the felony disposition docket scheduled in April, court records show.

According to the accident report for this case, on Jan. 26, 2019, Flint was driving a 2019 Honda Accord eastbound on 45th Street near Aydelotte Street, west of Kickapoo, when he allegedly rear-ended a Ford Mustang occupied by the teens. Witnesses told police his vehicle ran off the road several times at a high rate of speed before the crash, the report shows.

Flint was hospitalized for his injuries and later released, but the formal investigation into what happened took more than two months and resulted in felony charges. The arrest affidavit filed with the charges alleges Flint had a prior history of seizures and accidents.

Flint's next court date is now scheduled April 28.

Because of this accident, two local legislators have proposed House Bill 3373, which is being considered this session and would create the “Shelby Johnson and Logan Deardorff Act of 2020.”

The bill requires a physician or doctor to notify the Department of Public Safety within one week of diagnosis of any illness or injury that would impair the ability of an individual to operate a motor vehicle. A physician who intentionally violates the provisions may be charged with a misdemeanor. The bill has passed committee and now advances to the House floor to be heard.

Watch for updates.