Negligent manslaughter trial delayed until February


Aftermath of the Sept. 2017 crash that claimed the life of Rhiannon Marie Griffin of California.

Leonardtown, MD - A Virginia man who was indicted this past July in connection with a September 2017 motor vehicle crash that claimed the life of a St. Mary’s County woman will have his case heard by a jury in February. The defendant, Yobani Hernandez-Sierra, 30 of Danville, VA, was indicted on six counts—negligent manslaughter by automobile, criminal negligent manslaughter with a vehicle, reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to control speed on a highway to avoid a collision and driving a vehicle on a highway at a speed exceeding the limit.

The state’s case against Hernandez-Sierra was to have gone to trial Dec. 19 in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court but was postponed by Judge Michael J. Stamm and reset for Feb. 13.

According to a Maryland State Police (MSP) report, “on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at approximately 3:09 p.m., troopers responded to Route 235 at Poplar Ridge Road in Lexington Park for a report of a head-on collision.” The MSP investigation determined the GMC Terrain operated by Hernandez-Sierra “was traveling southbound on Route 235 north of Poplar Ridge Road when for an unknown reason the Terrain traveled head-on into oncoming traffic.” A Ford Ranger, operated by Rhiannon Marie Griffin, 27 of California, MD, was traveling northbound on Route 235 at the time. “Based on statements made by witnesses, Griffin attempted to take evasive action to avoid being struck by the Terrain,” the MSP report stated. “Griffin attempted to pull to the shoulder of the road but the Terrain continued onto the shoulder, striking the Ranger head-on.”

Griffin was pronounced dead at the scene. Hernandez-Sierra was flown to Prince George’s Shock Trauma. The crash was investigated by Trooper J. Mulhearn.

Griffin (pictured, right), a South Carolina native, served in the U.S. Navy for seven years. She was a technician for BAE Systems in Lexington Park.

Hernandez-Sierra is being represented by Eastern Shore-based attorney Steven W. Rakow. St. Mary’s County Assistant State’s Attorney Laura A. Caspar is prosecuting the case.

Contact Marty Madden at

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