DES MOINES, Iowa — The jury in Oleaf Teoh’s trial found her guilty of four of the five counts she was charged with.
“We the jury find Oleaf Teoh guilty of vehicular homicide by OWI, guilty of vehicular homicide by reckless driving, guilty of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, guilty of malicious prosecution and not guilty of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.”
Teoh hit 33-year-old Matthew Otto with her uncle’s SUV in February of 2018.
Matthew Otto’s wife, Amber Otto, said she and other family members have been waiting to hear this verdict for over a year.
“I feel really good about the verdict. I am glad that it’s over with, and I do feel that justice has been served,” Amber Otto said.
Amber Otto said the whole family will always miss him.
“Matthew was a son, brother, friend, father of six, my husband. He was loved by many. He had a passion for welding. He was very artistic and good with his hands. Matthew was an ironworker for Local 67. In 2014, he placed fifth in a national welding competition, which was held in Canada. This past year has been extremely difficult for our family. We want to personally thank everyone involved with seeking justice for the senseless death of our loved one, Matthew Otto,” Amber Otto said.
Matthew Otto’s brother, Tyler Otto, said he is also pleased with the verdict.
“Just like any other person, he had his problems, but just like any other person he is my brother. He is a family member and he’s deeply missed,” Tyler Otto said.
During the trial, prosecutors showed the jury the details of Matthew’s death.
He was hit by Teoh, who was driving 62 mph down Urbandale Avenue, where the posted speed limit is 30 mph.
The jury also found out through police testimony, Teoh was intoxicated at the time of the crash with a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.
Investigators showed their body camera and interview footage from that night, displaying all of the lies she told them, including lying about her name, birth date, where the accident happened and who was in the car at the time.
Teoh’s defense attorney, Wendy Samuelson, rested her case first thing Friday morning without calling any additional witnesses.
Otto’s family said they don’t want him to be remembered by the accident that took his life, and they are going to keep the positive memories alive for his children.
“My youngest and our 3-year-old will never know their dad, and there’s no words to express what that feels like to a mom, to have to explain what happened to him and keep his memory alive for them,” Amber Otto said.
The family says they can now grieve his death properly.
“He didn’t deserve what happened to him. He has a bigger story than what was displayed here in court. All I have to say is I am happy with the verdict. And this should be a lesson to everyone out there, please do not drink and drive. It’s that simple. Just don’t drink and drive,” Kaysha Otto, Matthew Otto’s sister, said.
Teoh will be sentenced at a later date.