Greis indicted on five counts of murder in Pollitt wreck

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By Amanda Kelly, Staff Writer

 A Kenton County grand jury indicted Daniel Greis on five counts of murder for the deaths of five members of the Pollitt family in an Oct. 26 car crash in Independence.

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Greis, 57, was charged with five counts of murder in November, and he now faces five possible life sentences or 20 to 50 years imprisonment for each charge if convicted, said Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders. 

Greis’ first appearance in Kenton County Circuit Court is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 2, 2018, but Sanders said Greis’ transportation needs may cause the appearance to be rescheduled. 

Greis had a blood alcohol level of 0.083, slightly above the legal limit, and marijuana in his system at the time of the head-on collision. 

Kenton County Police Sgt. Chris Haddle testified Nov. 8 that Greis was traveling at 96 miles per hour when he collided with the Pollitt family’s car, killing 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 while traveling on Staffordsburg Road in Independence.

The Pollitt children all attended Grant County Schools at the time of their deaths, with Hailieann at Dry Ridge Elementary and Brenden and Cailie both at Sherman Elementary School. 

Rodney Pollitt Jr. drove a bus for Kidz Club in Erlanger and Samantha was a stay-at-home mother for their three children, one of whom had Down syndrome. 

Black box information taken from Greis’ vehicle also showed he was accelerating at 100 percent half a second before impact, Haddle testified during a preliminary hearing in Kenton County District Court. 

Haddle testified to evidence supporting Greis’ intoxication, including confirmation from a friend that Greis was drinking alcohol while playing golf together prior to the crash, receipts proving Greis was playing golf before the crash, a statement from Greis while on scene after the collision about drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana and Greis’ blood test results. 

Greis’ bond was set for $1 million by Kenton County District Court Judge Kenneth Easterling on Nov. 8. Greis was transported to the Kentucky State Reformatory’s medical wing for further treatment after his arraignment and preliminary hearing in November.