Veronica Lynn Ott’s loved ones were devastated when they learned how she had passed away in an unfortunate car accident. Although her death was initially classified as an accident, further investigation indicated otherwise, and soon law enforcement officers announced they were opening a homicide investigation into this matter. ‘Accused: Guilty or Innocent? Reckless Driver or Tragic Accident’ revisits this tragedy and follows the investigation that tried to get to the bottom of the incident. Well, if you are intrigued to know more about the case, we have you covered.
How Did Veronica Ott Die?
A resident of Centreville, Alabama, Veronica Ott was just 37 years old at the time of her death. People who knew her described her as a lively and kindhearted woman who never hesitated to help others and was always friendly with everyone she met. Known for her charming and amicable nature, Veronica was pretty popular in her community, which made her sudden demise all the more shocking. Besides, reports mention that Veronica loved going out with her friends and was returning from one such hangout when she met her tragic fate.
In the early morning hours of September 5, 2015, at around 3:50 am, Veronica and one of her friends were returning from a late dinner and a fun night out. Since Veronica consumed alcohol during dinner, her friend offered to drive, and she rode along in the passenger’s seat. Reports later claimed that the victim was not wearing her seatbelt, and as the car neared a bend on Alabama Highway 5, the driver mistakenly entered the wrong lane, where she faced oncoming traffic. Before the mistake could be corrected, the speeding car hit an oncoming truck and came to a stop by the side of the road.
Once first responders reached the site, they found the driver of the vehicle dazed but alive. However, fate wasn’t so kind to Veronica as her body lunged forward during the accident, and without a seatbelt to protect her, she suffered multiple fractures all over her body. Medical examiners also discovered numerous injuries on her chest, as well as a ruptured spleen. Although authorities immediately shifted Veronica to a nearby hospital, she passed away soon after, and an autopsy determined the injuries to be the cause behind her demise.
Who Killed Veronica Ott?
When the police initially investigated the mishap that caused Veronica’s death, they classified it as an accident. Besides, Margaret Culp, the person driving the vehicle, was described as Veronica Ott’s best friend, and the police saw no reason to suspect her of homicide. However, once Margaret was sent to the emergency room, the doctors ran a series of tests on her and discovered that she had Xanax in her system at the time of the accident. Furthermore, medical tests also found traces of oxycodone and morphine, which immediately rang alarm bells. When questioned, the examiners indicated that a mixture of all three might have affected Margaret in a way that would compel her to lose control of the vehicle. Thus, after careful consideration of the situation, detectives figured that the best course of action would be to charge Margaret with murder.
Where Is Margaret Culp Now?
The murder charge shocked Margaret and her loved ones, and when arrested, she had to spend five months in jail before being released on bail. Moreover, the sudden arrest affected her livelihood, and the show mentioned that Margaret had to move in with her daughter and later her granddaughter since she had lost her own house. Still, she was determined to fight the charges and prove that she had not killed Veronica.
While on the show, Margaret explained that she had been taking oxycodone and morphine for more than fifteen years because of her degenerative spine condition. Besides, she claimed doctors prescribed her Xanax in small doses to combat her anxiety. While this information explained the medical officer’s report, some sources claimed Veronica had fallen on Margaret during the turn, making it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle. However, Margaret mentioned that she rarely remembered anything from the day of the incident and was not sure if her friend affected her driving in any way.
By this time, the prosecution knew that it would be challenging to prove Margaret’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and hence they offered a deal in which the accused could plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide. Realizing that her options were limited, she eventually agreed to the plea deal, and the judge gave her two years of probation along with a $1400 fine to be paid to the court. Since her sentencing, Margaret has embraced privacy and prefers to keep her personal life under wraps. Although, from the looks of it, she still seems to reside in Centreville, Alabama, and has built up a quiet life surrounded by her loved ones.
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