Three charges against Councilor Lara from JP crash dropped

Local News

Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara still faces six charges stemming from the June crash, where she drove a car into a Jamaica Plain home.

Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara with her attorney Carlton Williams during her arraignment in West Roxbury District in July. Nancy Lane/Pool

Three of the nine charges against Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara stemming from a June crash were dropped last week, according to court documents, after data from her vehicle showed she hadn’t been driving as fast as police initially said. 

Charges of speeding, reckless driving, and a seat belt violation were all dropped. The incident, during which Lara drove a car into a Jamaica Plain home, derailed her reelection campaign. She lost a preliminary election last month, and two other candidates will compete to represent District 6 in the general election on Nov. 7. 

Lara still faces charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, driving an uninsured motor vehicle, driving an unregistered motor vehicle, driving with a child under the age of 8 not in a car seat, and assault and battery on a child with injury, according to court documents. 

Lara and her attorney, Carlton E. Williams, appeared in West Roxbury District Court last week. Williams is seeking to have the remaining charges dropped. 

“I think that for someone who is one, driving without a license and gets into a car accident, the amount of charges I received is completely unheard of,” Lara told reporters outside of the courthouse on Friday, according to footage taken by WHDH.

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, police said that Lara was driving more than 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. But last month Lara denied those allegations, telling reporters that an accident reconstruction company determined that she was only driving 27 mph by analyzing data from the car’s electronic data recorder. 

Prosecutors said Friday that the device was examined, and it indeed showed that she was not traveling at the speed police initially said she was. It confirmed that Lara was traveling at 27 mph about 5 seconds before impact, causing prosecutors to drop the speeding and reckless driving charges, according to footage taken by WHDH. 

Lara was behind the wheel of a 2019 Honda Civic that crashed through a fence and then into the front porch of a house at 803 Centre St. around 4:25 p.m. on June 30 in “clear and dry” weather, according to a police report. She told officers that she swerved to avoid hitting another car, but could not stop before ramming into the home. 

“She had a choice. She was like ‘I can hit that person that just cut in front of me, or I can hit those trees and those bushes over there.’ And she chose the latter, which I would say is actually a good idea,” Williams told WHDH.

Lara’s then 7-year-old son was riding in the back seat of the car at the time of the crash. He was brought to a local hospital and received stitches for a cut on his head, but was not seriously injured, officials said. He was not in a booster seat, which is required in Massachusetts for children under age 8 or who are under 57 inches tall. 

Lara has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been free on personal recognizance. Her next court date is scheduled for Nov. 15.

“For now, I’m really glad to have at least some of the charges that have been lobbied against me with the new information that was provided to the court by the EDR data dismissed, and we’ll continue moving forward with the process,” she told reporters Friday. 

Originally posted 2023-10-23 17:38:07.