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Old 03-15-02, 11:07 PM   #1
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Update - Motorist who shot cyclist foung Guilty of 1st Degree Murder

From an email by Bicycle Colorado


Hi folks,

James Hall was found guilty of first degree murder today in the shooting
death of cyclist John Bray. On May 5, 2000, James Hall, 50, driving a
pickup truck, and John Bray, 29, on his bicycle, traded angry words after a
traffic altercation at 9th and Lincoln in downtown Denver. Hall pulled out
a pistol and shot Bray in the heart, according to witnesses. After only two
days of testimony and an hour of deliberation, the Denver District Court
jury returned a guilty verdict. Defense lawyers had argued that Hall
suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome after three tours of duty in
Vietnam. The defense also claimed that Hall acted in self-defense, though
several witnesses disputed the theory. Hall is likely to receive a
mandatory life sentence in May. While relieved by the verdict, Bicycle
Colorado is saddened that a traffic altercation between a cyclist and
motorist, a common occurrence, should result in the death of a cyclist and
a man spending the rest of his life in jail. We encourage all to share the

In another case, today's Boulder Daily Camera reported that 84 year old
Edith Heller pleaded guilty of leaving the scene of an accident involving a
death in the October 2001 death of cyclist Chris Ethridge of Breckenridge.
Ethridge, co-owner of a bike shop, was well-loved in the bicycle
community. Heller hit Ethridge head-on on a rural road northeast of
Boulder, then left the scene. Heller was disoriented when contacted by the
police. With no witnesses to the event and no skid marks, officers were
unable to determine fault in the accident. While the charge against Heller
is a felony, prosecutors are unlikely to push for jail time for Heller, who
is unlikely to drive again. Bicycle Colorado is working with law
enforcement to schedule classes on bike/ped accident reconstruction, to
help officers more accurately and thoroughly investigate crashes of this sort.

Please ride safely. As always, let me know if you don't want to receive
these messages. Also, please add Bicycle Colorado's new Executive Director,
Dan Grunig, to your e-mail lists. <[email protected]>

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Old 03-16-02, 09:47 AM   #2
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Man I sort of feel sorry for the old lady, I'm sure she feels awful. I bet she just had a "senior moment". The license bureau needs to develop some way of testing older driver's competence to drive or just simply an upper age limit.

Don't get me wrong I feel worse for the dead cyclist, but had the authorities taken away the old lady's license this may not have happened.
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Old 03-16-02, 10:55 AM   #3
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As for James Hall - Kick A$$! I hope he rots in jail without ever getting a parole hearing.

As for the old woman, I agree. I hav always suggested either an age limit on licenses or (to be fair) mandatory driving exams for all ages every few years.

Its funny to talk to people about an age limit on licenses. I am told I wont feel the same when I get older and that I will view a car as my last vestiges of freedom.

I hope to god this isnt true. I'd rather be the dead cyclist than the old fool in the car.
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Old 03-16-02, 12:06 PM   #4
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A recently deceased uncle of mine was one of those rare old people with the wisdom to know when to quit driving. In 1992 he bought a new car; I think he was 85 then. One of my cousins was visiting him at the time, in Florida, and Hurricane Andrew had just torn through the state. All the airports were closed. My cousin couldn't fly home to San Fran. Uncle Sidney told his son, "I'm too old to drive that thing, don't know why I ever bought it. Drive it home and keep it, will ya?"
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Old 03-16-02, 03:38 PM   #5
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Speaking of old ladies, a report recently issued here in canada suggest that doctors be the ones who recommend when old people can no longer drive safely. It suggested that they take more responsibility and that there be new guidleines in terms of testing, etc. I think that's a good idea. There are some people who should not be on the road. When I see old people who can't even push a grocery cart in a straight line or see in front of their face, I fear for the safety of myself and others on the road!
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.
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Old 03-16-02, 10:55 PM   #6
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We need to traffic-calm our neighborhoods, so that seniors (and others, for that matter) can run errands in Neighborhood Electric Vehicles or mobility scooters. When my grandfather was 87, I performed the difficult task of taking away his car keys, with my (non-driving) grandmother's approval. I may have saved someone's life.

Bad (aggressive, incompetent, fatigued, distracted, disoriented, bewildered, and/or inebriated) drivers are the only hazard which really scares me when I am walking, cycling, or driving.
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 03-17-02, 12:32 AM   #7
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This James Hall person is clearly a complete imbecile.

He had a perfectly good weapon all around him with which he could kill and face far less severe consequences and yet he chose to pull out a gun?
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