Daniel Greis pleads not guilty to 5 counts murder in Pollitt family crash

Trial date set for June 19
Family hoped for guilty plea to end 'nightmare'
Family hoped for guilty plea to end 'nightmare'
Posted at 3:25 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 19:31:38-05

COVINGTON, Ky. -- Vivian Cooper spent Sunday dealing with headstones for five loved ones she lost last year.

On Monday, she was in court to face the man police believe was responsible.

Cooper hoped Daniel Greis would plead guilty and bring some closure to her family's monthslong "nightmare;" that didn't happen.

"It's so hard," Cooper said. "I mean it's not just one, it's five."

The "five" are members of the Pollitt family, all killed in a crash with Greis on Oct. 26: Rodney Pollitt, Jr., 26; Samantha Malohn, 27; and their children Hailieann, Brenden and Cailie Pollitt, who were 9, 8 and 6, respectively.

Greis, 57, was arraigned Monday on five counts of murder for their deaths. Police accused him of drunkenly driving at nearly 100 mph when his car crossed the center line of Staffordsburg Road and collided with the Pollitts' car. The young family had been planning to buy Halloween costumes for later in the week.


One first responder called the scene "worse than anything Hollywood could dream up." Cooper, who is Malohn's grandmother, said there were no open caskets. Dale Adams, Malohn's grandfather, said the whole family is suffering.

"The fact is we'll never get to see Samantha, Rodney, the babies again ... Never again will we see them, and we think about them every day," Adams said.

They sat in court Monday while attorneys debated evidence in the case -- who would get what, and when -- set a trial date of June 19.


Greis was in a wheelchair; at a past hearing, he'd appeared in a hospital bed. Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders hasn't yet turned over evidence to the defense because, he said, he doesn't have it all yet. He's waiting on a finalized crash report and a blood test, both of which he expects to be finished soon.

There was a question over how much blood evidence would be preserved; Kenton County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Summe asked the prosecutor and defense attorneys to have their experts talk about how much they'd need.

It's hard to be there, Cooper said, but she feels like she'd be letting the young family down if she weren't. So she'll keep coming back.

"I don't want them to think we're forgetting about them," she said.