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Avid Climber Mike Sanders killed by 2X DUI offender HELP
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By CJC
Oct 5, 2012

relevance of prior convictions will be the determining factor

if there is no evidence of DUI in this tragedy his prior DUI convictions are inadmissable


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By Howrad McGreehan
Oct 5, 2012

Scott McMahon wrote:
So when you are done laughing try reading it again. You can't make a charge up based on previous history when it "might not be relevant". Two murder charges would be relevant no? So if this guy had a heart attack or a stroke which caused him run into the victim, he should be charged with murder or manslaughter because he had previous DUIs?


I fail to see the relevance in the stroke or heart attack? You're bringing in extraneous information to compare to relevant charges? You're certainly no lawyer (and no, I didn't have to read that multiple times in your previous post to figure that out).

To re-iterate, murder charges would be relevant to another charge;

So, naturally, when one drives a vehicle they are not legally allowed to operate BECAUSE of previous charges (in this case, multiple DUI charges on separate occasions), I would call that highly relevant. In fact, it would be hard to NOT consider this.

Having a stroke or heart attack while driving would certainly be a different story. If that were the case however, I believe the headlines would have been something along the lines of: "Man has stroke while driving and hits a pedestrian." Later, charges against the man for driving a vehicle that he is not allowed to operate would be brought up, as well as the previous DUI charges.

I'm a little confused at what is being argued here. I don't condone charges like manslaughter, because that really sucks. However, according to the legal definition of manslaughter, and the circumstances this gentleman put upon himself, I do believe, from a logical standpoint only, that manslaughter charges should be brought forth.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Oct 5, 2012
Stoked...

Charles Vernon wrote:
To friends/family of the deceased, I am sorry for your loss. For people pushing the petition this seems to be a case of "where there's smoke, there's fire." I.e., the driver has a demonstrated history of irresponsible acts, so even though we can't point to any *specific* irresponsible act on his part that contributed to the accident, the likelihood is high that he must have done *something* irresponsible (negligent) that probably contributed to it. Thus, the DA's office couldn't have done a proper investigation or they would have found *something*. The petition says "there is much more evidence that has not [been] considered." But no one has indicated what that evidence is. Things like driving without the interlock, past DUIs and missed court dates are not, in themselves, evidence that the driver was negligent in a way that contributed to the accident, and no one has pointed to any other evidence. If there was a factual dispute as to whether the petitioner was negligent in taking or failing to take some particular action then maybe the past acts could come in as character evidence. CaptainMo said: "I would also add the maybe the guy knew he had a medical condition in which case it might be negligent if he didn't have his pills with him or such to treat say a heartattack. Obviously all speculation but that's why you charge someone with the crime and then they are innocent until proven guilty. If they are not charged, that process would, to me, be usurped." You don't (or shouldn't) charge someone with a crime based on pure speculation. You need at least some evidence, even if circumstantial, amounting to probable cause of criminal negligence that had a causal relationship with the accident. It seems like friends/family of the deceased must feel, based on the driver's history of irresponsible acts, that the DA simply didn't look hard enough for that kind of evidence. But they haven't shown that such evidence actually exists. Is there a history of this DA (or other authorities involved) consistently ignoring evidence or doing shoddy investigative work? Or is there any *specific* evidence of that in this case?


Gwen - I'm very sorry for you and your community's loss.

Charles - Involuntary manslaughter does not require criminal negligence... and I think there is evidence he killed someone so I guess my question would be to the DA as to why involuntary manslaughter charge was not applicable. A few years ago a local man was killed jogging by a motorist with a medical condition and was still charged with involuntary manslaughter.


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By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Oct 5, 2012

CaptainMo--

I was responding to your speculation that he committed a negligent act.

True, he committed an "unlawful act"--an alternate although similar route to proving involuntary manslaughter--by driving off the road. But he is excused from criminal liability for that act--and by extension for involuntary manslaughter--by the medical condition. So we're back to speculating about whether he was negligent by not taking his pills or something like that. Or speculating that the DA improperly concluded that his medical condition caused him to drive off the road.

[Edit] This is assuming Colorado involuntary manslaughter tracks the definition you cited from Wikipedea, which sounded correct to me as a general definition. But I haven't bothered to look anything up.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 5, 2012
Bocan

Howrad McGreehan wrote:
I fail to see the relevance in the stroke or heart attack? You're bringing in extraneous information to compare to relevant charges? You're certainly no lawyer (and no, I didn't have to read that multiple times in your previous post to figure that out). To re-iterate, murder charges would be relevant to another charge; So, naturally, when one drives a vehicle they are not legally allowed to operate BECAUSE of previous charges (in this case, multiple DUI charges on separate occasions), I would call that highly relevant. In fact, it would be hard to NOT consider this. Having a stroke or heart attack while driving would certainly be a different story. If that were the case however, I believe the headlines would have been something along the lines of: "Man has stroke while driving and hits a pedestrian." Later, charges against the man for driving a vehicle that he is not allowed to operate would be brought up, as well as the previous DUI charges. I'm a little confused at what is being argued here. I don't condone charges like manslaughter, because that really sucks. However, according to the legal definition of manslaughter, and the circumstances this gentleman put upon himself, I do believe, from a logical standpoint only, that manslaughter charges should be brought forth.


So if I understand you correctly...you fail to see the relevance of a medical condition that CAUSED the accident and consider it extraneous, but you feel that his previous DUIs are the deciding and relevant factor to the current case? And that based on this "logical standpoint" he should be brought up on charges?

The medical condition was uncovered during the investigation which was conducted AFTER the news article was written. You can't charged people based upon partial news stories. The investigation clearly states the accident was on account of a medical condtion. How did his previous DUIs cause this accident? That is more the point I'm trying to make.. you can't charge someone based on a history that did not cause this accident. His medical condition caused this accident, not the interlock, not his DUIs, not anything but his medical condition. He was charged for driving without an interlock, but that did not lead up to or cause the accident nor did his previous DUIs. It doesn't even prove that he's a bad driver. He is allowed to drive and the interlock was not a contributing factor to the accident.

The DA's investigation states that his medical condition caused the accident. You charge people based on facts not speculation, half written newspaper stories or just because they are a irresponsible A-hole.

You're right I'm no lawyer...and you obviously aren't either.


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Oct 5, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

I would have to agree with Scott on this. Because there is no evidence supporting negligence or illegal activity that directly caused this accident, no charges would be applicable. Unless you can prove that he was over the legal limits at the time of the incident, or otherwise negligent, there is no case. The evidence they apparently DO have, supports a medical condition that caused the accident. Past DUIs are pretty much moot unless alcohol were involved in this particular event, and it appears the DA is confident that alcohol was NOT a factor.

Media headlines...evidence? Support for your argument? Come on Howrad.


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Oct 5, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

Maybe, if you phrased the petition differently, you could get his license suspended or limited.

Not by using the DUIs as support, but his medical condition (the effect of which, in tandem with operating a motor vehicle, has taken a life).

I might consider signing that one, but as it is now, the argument you're making seems a little shaky and perhaps even slanderous.


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By Howrad McGreehan
Oct 5, 2012

What was the medical condition that caused the accident? Was it a stroke? If so then that's no bueno, that sucks for both parties, big time.

It really sucks that this driver, who was required to use an interlock system to drive a vehicle, chose to ignore that respect, got in a vehicle anyway, and ended the life of a citizen. My apologies to you.


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