A 22-year-old Cabin John man has been convicted of manslaughter and homicide by automobile for the death last April of a noted area psychiatrist and his wife, a Montgomery County public health nurse.
The couple, Gertrude and Morris Kleinerman, were killed instantly at River and Willard roads on April 3 when their car was struck broadside by an auto driven by Gary L. Kohlenburg. Prosecutors introduced test results showing that, at the time of the accident, Kohlenburg had consumed three times the amount of alcohol needed to be declared legally drunk.
Both victims were well known in Montgomery County, and their deaths that night added intensity to growing calls for a solution to the persistent problem of drunk drivers on the state's highways.
Prosecutors thus gave a high priority to convicting Kohlenburg, who was indicted on seven counts, including the unusual charge of homicide by automobile while intoxicated, as well as driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and speeding.
Prosector Steve Savage had contended during the trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court last week that Kohlenburg should be convicted of both the manslaughter and homicide charges because the amount of alcohol in his body and the high speed at which he was driving when his car smashed into the Kleinermans' car showed "criminal indifference."
Savage said that Kohlenburg was guilty of "a wanton and willful disregard for the life and property of another."
Kohlenburg now faces combined sentences totaling up to seven years in prison.
Dr. Kleinerman, 73, was clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, with private practices in Washington and Chevy Chase. His wife Gertrude, 62, was assistant director for school health at the Montgomery County Public Health Department and a member of several health-related boards.