Driver Found Guilty In Fatal Street Race Crash

BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Street racing death. Now the man who caused the horrific crash has been found guilty.

Weijia Jiang has the details.

Family members of Mary-Kathryn Abernathy, 21, and Jonathan Henderson, 20, say they’ve been waiting for this day for nearly two years. 

A judge found the man accused of killing them guilty of vehicular manslaughter—the most serious of the 17 charges he faced.

“This is a no-win situation for all of the families involved,” said Dave Abernathy, victim’s father. “We obviously miss Mary-Kathryn and John very much. But this gives us a sense the judicial system worked.”

They were killed in June 2009 where Interstate 70 ends at the Beltway. Police say they were watching an illegal street race when Donneil Raeburn, 27, of Pikesville, plowed into them.  They died instantly.

Police say Raeburn’s alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

Raeburn, who now has brain damage, testified that he doesn’t remember what happened that night.

“What went wrong was that with the same hand that was used to lift alcohol into someone’s system, used a key and put it in the ignition and they put themselves behind the wheel,” said Lisa Dove, Abernathy’s mother.

Raeburn’s attorney argued that alcohol had nothing to do with the accident and that anyone could’ve had an accident under the chaotic circumstances.  Ultimately, though, the judge disagreed.

“It’s not going to bring our kids back; nothing will bring them back, but it makes me feel better that he’s where he deserves to be,” said a family member.

Raeburn is being held without bond until his sentencing. The maximum time he faces is 20 years. His family declined to comment.

  • Nor

    If I had a blood alcohol level of .22, I wouldn’t remember anything either. I can’t imagine what his blood alcohol level was when he struck the victims. The .22 level was 2 hours later. So sorry about his scars…Mary-Kathryn and Jon are not alive to have scars, reporter. This report sucks

  • Doug

    At the very least,castrate the loser.
    Society can’t afford the next generation of low I. Q. morons


    you no the freakin idiot was drinkn n drivin thats the bottom line he deserves to get watever he got is a matter of fact he deserves to rot in jail as for racing he should of been straight and done it on an old bak rd ware he couldnt kill or hurt anyone …..u no racing is the redneck life but drinkin and driving come on now u deserve watever u get!!!

  • Mary

    People need to understand one thing, there was NO street race. The people that were supposed to race never showed. The bottom line is two people lost their lives due to a moron who decided to drink and get behind the wheel.

  • Doug

    On second thought,
    into the Soylent Green hopper with him.
    He’ll serve society better in wafer form.

  • Al

    JonJon was one of my son’s best friend , he was at my house most of the time , Jonjon and Mary were 2 great people . we all will miss them both. One thing that sob can’t take away is our memories. I think 20 years for that guy is terrible , he should get life plus 2…..

  • Mary&Jon

    I was present the night they were taken away from us all. Not to mention that whole day was spent with all of us together. No race ever happened. Donneil Raeburn showed up intoxicated, formed his own illegal race and killed two of my best friends. The defense claimed alcohol wasn’t a factor, an alcohol level of .22 – 2hours later, Raeburn was inialated. Anyone who drinks alcohol knows this. We avoided a party before the car meet to avoid drinking and driving home. Look where it got us all. He deserves the DEATH PENALTY. Thats what Mary and Jon got.

  • Max

    Mary was my neighbors babysitter I went over everyday. I miss her so much but this makes me so much happier.

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