Kentucky

Family ‘didn’t have a chance.’ But killer eventually can go free with 20-year sentence.

Daniel Greis, on trial for the wanton murder of five members of the Pollitt family in an October crash, testified in his own defense in June.
Daniel Greis, on trial for the wanton murder of five members of the Pollitt family in an October crash, testified in his own defense in June. The Enquirer

A Kenton County man who killed a family of five in a crash last October was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday, far less than relatives of the victims wanted, according to media reports.

Daniel Greis, 58, showed “extreme indifference to human life” when he was driving under the influence of marijuana and alcohol in the crash, the jurors said, according to WKRC Local 12. The crash killed 26-year-old Rodney Pollitt Jr., 27-year-old Samantha Malohn and their three children 9-year-old Hailieann, 8-year-old Brenden and 6-year-old Cailie.

Greis was traveling 96 mph when he struck the Pollitt family head-on.

Defensive attorney Stacey Graus blamed road rage for the accident and said the driver in front of Greis wouldn’t allow him to pass, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Greis was left in “no man’s land” on the two-lane road where the accident took place on Oct. 27, 2017, according to the attorney.

A first responder called the scene “worse than anything Hollywood could dream up,” WCPO reported.

Greis’ blood alcohol content was .089 — just above the legal limit, according to WCPO.

The Pollitt family wanted a life sentence for Greis, Local 12 reported.

“We’ll never get to see our kids again. We have to go to the cemetery to look at a big pile of dirt for all of their birthdays and Christmas and everything,” said Vivian Cooper, Malohn’s grandmother, according to Local 12.

In June, Greis testified that he felt responsible for the crash, the Enquirer reported.

“I feel responsibility, yes. Those people died horribly. It was my car that hit them,” Greis said, according to the Enquirer. “I did that. I didn’t see it, but I hit that car. They didn’t have a chance. I was praying please God, don’t let there be anyone over the hill.”

The Pollitt children all attended Grant County Schools at the time of their deaths, Rodney Pollitt Jr. was a bus driver and Samantha Malohn was a stay-at-home mom, the Grant County News reported.

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