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Old 07-27-13, 08:27 AM   #1
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Foothill Cyclist Killer Charged with Felonies

The 18 year old was charged with two felonies, including vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/p...ision-arrested

Last month they searched his house and found two illegal assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition belonging to his dad. Although I'm not much for vengeance, this is a family that should be culled from the herd.
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Old 07-27-13, 10:06 AM   #2
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Good to see he's going to answer for it.

Agreed about the family. No mystery where he got the idea he could act like he did.
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Old 07-27-13, 01:33 PM   #3
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Now about that DA over in Palo Alto who maintains there is no way she can bring criminal charges against a speeding, unlicensed tweeker who ran a child over in the bike lane...
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Old 07-28-13, 07:28 AM   #4
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I think that DA's office pretty much said there needs to be a specific law protecting cyclists against reckless auto drivers, like the "use a gun, go to jail" law. I agree, but good luck getting that one passed, in California or anywhere else. I think a good many drivers would rather see a law getting cyclists off "their" road entirely.
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Old 07-29-13, 02:03 PM   #5
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Now about that DA over in Palo Alto who maintains there is no way she can bring criminal charges against a speeding, unlicensed tweeker who ran a child over in the bike lane...
For better or for worse, speeding in the way that the majority of drivers on the road speed isn't going to result in a conviction. Even if the "the sun was in my eyes" defense is BS, the DA couldn't disprove it.

A driver who was not absurdly over the speed limit who got blinded by the sun, versus a driver going WAY over the speed limit, made an unsafe pass, had to made a sudden move back into the proper lane to avoid a head on collision, loses control and kills a cyclist. If evidence proves the latter, it is pretty clearly reckless. Showing recklessness in the former case beyond a reasonable doubt is almost impossible.

In a lot of ways, the disappointment is even greater when a DA brings charges in a case that is going to be lost and that not guilty verdict comes down than when the DA decides not to bring charges, especially because the victim (if alive as in the Palo Alto case) and the victim's family have to go through the emotional wringer of the trial, and in higher profile cases, the public that thinks the accused should be punished is more pissed off after a losing trial than if charges are not brought. The state attorney in Florida overruling the DA and deciding to bring charges against Zimmerman made things worse in the end. Sure, the undisputed facts seem to show that Zimmerman's racial profiling and incredibly stupid and wrong headed behavior were the cause of Martin's death, but those undisputed facts don't show criminal behavior under Florida law. A conviction under the law wasn't going to happen unless the jury decided to abandon their duty under the law and punish a guy that at least some of them wanted to punish. The DA made the right choice in the first place because a conviction wouldn't happen, it was better to put up with the disappointment of no charges brought than the disappointment of the not guilty verdict.

Yes, a driver made mistakes and ran over a kid riding in a bike lane causing serious injuries. But under the law, and under the facts as I understand them from the media reports, I don't see a way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those mistakes rose to the level of criminality. It is sad, but that's the way it is. Except when there is a lot of political pressure, DA's don't bring charges in cases they are almost sure to lose, and I'm OK with that, I'd rather the limited resources be spent on better things.

And I really hope the DA has a good case against the Foothill driver and gets meaningful prison time.
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Old 07-29-13, 03:02 PM   #6
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Now about that DA over in Palo Alto who maintains there is no way she can bring criminal charges against a speeding, unlicensed tweeker who ran a child over in the bike lane...
Can always and most often go to the "Civil Courts" for "wrongful death," it will not bring back the young cyclist but the driver will find himself in a very uncomfortable situation financially and most likely his insurance (if he has one) will not cover all of his expenses!
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Old 07-30-13, 06:16 PM   #7
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Can always and most often go to the "Civil Courts" for "wrongful death," it will not bring back the young cyclist but the driver will find himself in a very uncomfortable situation financially and most likely his insurance (if he has one) will not cover all of his expenses!
They just file for bankruptcy.
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Old 07-30-13, 07:02 PM   #8
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For better or for worse, speeding in the way that the majority of drivers on the road speed isn't going to result in a conviction. Even if the "the sun was in my eyes" defense is BS, the DA couldn't disprove it...

...Yes, a driver made mistakes and ran over a kid riding in a bike lane causing serious injuries. But under the law, and under the facts as I understand them from the media reports, I don't see a way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those mistakes rose to the level of criminality. It is sad, but that's the way it is. Except when there is a lot of political pressure, DA's don't bring charges in cases they are almost sure to lose, and I'm OK with that, I'd rather the limited resources be spent on better things.

And I really hope the DA has a good case against the Foothill driver and gets meaningful prison time.
The one good thing that can come from prosecuting cases of this sort is to expose what has become of legislative intent and give our failed system of laws pertaining to our public right of way the necessary exposure to spur our legislators into action.

I find it amazing that failure to follow basic roadway safety laws and common sense in a way that seriously harms or kills someone is typically met with a yawn by our criminal justice system, but let someone commit a fraud that enriches him/her by a few thousand dollars and s/he can expect several years in the slammer.
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Old 08-01-13, 08:12 PM   #9
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They just file for bankruptcy.
Probably. But if one can convince the BK judge the move was sufficiently reckless (by a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt), it may not be dischargeable in bankruptcy. I know damages for fraud and other intentional bad acts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, and I think the same is true of some level of recklessness. I'm not sure about that, though, and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. But it is at least possible that bankruptcy would not help.

Of course, collecting a large judgment even if BK doesn't protect the tortfeasor is whole 'nother kettle o' fish, as Ron Goldman's family has found out.
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Old 08-01-13, 09:27 PM   #10
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Of course, collecting a large judgment even if BK doesn't protect the tortfeasor is whole 'nother kettle o' fish, as Ron Goldman's family has found out.
Hmm?
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Old 08-02-13, 07:29 PM   #11
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Hmm?
Collecting a judgment can be surprisingly difficult. There are limits to how much of someone's wages you can garnish at a time, and homesteading your house can make it very difficult to foreclose on to satisfy a judgment. You can go after someone's bank account, but you only get whatever is in it at the moment the attachment papers come through; if the account has been cleaned out, our you do it before a big deposit hits, you have to try all over again. If someone wants to go through the effort make it hard for you to get their bucks and go through the hassle of living in a more or less grey economy, it can be a looooong haul. It can be a pretty feral existence for the judgment debtor, but there are people out there who are willing to live that way in order to stiff their creditors, even people thay have defrauded.

The "Goldman" reference is to the family of Ron Goldman, one of OJ Simpson's victims. His parents got a big wrongful death civil verdict against OJ, and they have been chasing after him for payment fo the judgment ever since. They have snagged some of his stuff to sell to satisfy part of the judgment, but last I heard he still owed them a big chunk of change, although I could be wrong about that by now. The other option is debtors prison, but those got abolished a long time ago, and it's not like they got the creditor paid, either.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:07 AM   #12
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Latest update: "An 18-year-old accused of killing a bicyclist with his car has had a vehicular manslaughter charge upgraded to murder in part because he boasted about speeding on Twitter, prosecutors said Thursday."

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/calif...r-after-tweets
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Old 08-16-13, 10:46 AM   #13
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Does the idiocy ever stop? Twitter?
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Old 08-16-13, 02:53 PM   #14
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Does the idiocy ever stop? Twitter?
The bad news is that Twitter posts represent well under 1% of the idiocy involved in this case. I think it fair to say, however, that a guy who boasts on Twitter about planning to total another car after having already totaled 2 cars, a guy who posts photos of his speedometer going well over 100 mph on I-5, is an idiot, especially when he really HAD totaled 2 cars already, and really WAS going to total a third (and kill a person in the process). If his idiocy had been limited to Twitter, things would have been OK, but not surprisingly, the Twitter idiocy was just one sign of his overall idiocy. This is just a sad, sad case.
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Old 04-18-14, 01:03 AM   #15
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The Foothill killer plea deal is nine years in the state pen (he might be able to see his dad there). Somehow bragging about reckless driving in social media wasn't a wise move.

Pleasanton: Teen who bragged about speeding takes plea deal in death of Dublin cyclist - San Jose Mercury News
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Old 04-20-14, 09:03 PM   #16
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Thanks for the update. Surprised he even got that long. I'm sure with good behavior he'll be out and ready to kill again in less than 5 years.
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