The family of the victims had also backed a new trial. Michael Padden, attorney for the victims' family, said his clients were "shocked" at the plea offer and "disappointed" with the prosecutors. "They think the Ramsey County Attorney's office is being unreasonable," said Padden. "They're shocked that they're dangling a carrot in front of the guy like this, because obviously he wants to be with his family but it's really a crappy offer if you think about it."
"They support Lee's motion for a new trial and in addition support the notion that Lee should never be tried again. They don't believe he has any culpability at all in this matter."
The Ramsey County prosecutor's office had maintained there was no new evidence. In April, two experts hired by the prosecutor re-examined the car and reported "…there were no problems with the brakes or throttle system." They blamed the accident on driver error.
At the time, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner expressed her sympathy to all involved in the accident, while also stating her opposition to a new trial. "But the law is clear," she said. "Newly discovered evidence is required to overturn a conviction. Despite diligent efforts, we found no such evidence."
Lee's attorneys hired their own expert to examine the car, however, and their expert reported there was evidence that the throttle was stuck open and that Lee was pressing the brakes at the time of the collision.