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Guilty of involuntary manslauter


mat
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52 minutes ago, mat said:

He plead guilty then change his plea to not guilty. What would make him think “I’d rather go to a jury.” Maybe it’s just me, but it seams like a bonehead move that will cost him in the long run.

 

This is the hidden content, please

I said the exact same thing when he changed it, but he's taking a chance on getting less time. I don't think it's going to work out for him. 

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1 hour ago, WOSdrummer99 said:

Minimum five years is a joke.

While most people would agree, Texas law is set out in generalities. A third-degree felony is 2-10, second- degree is 2-20 and a first- degree 5-99.

A jury or a judge gets to say what is reasonable in each case. There are some enhancements like some repeat or habitual violators where a first-degree might go up a minimum of 25 years.

I hope this guy gets at least the 30 years. 

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I believe I read in the testimony that neither officer was wearing a seatbelt.  I wonder if things would’ve turned out differently if they had.  What an incredible tragedy, and this kid deserves to be put away for a long time.  

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1 hour ago, bullets13 said:

I believe I read in the testimony that neither officer was wearing a seatbelt.  I wonder if things would’ve turned out differently if they had.  What an incredible tragedy, and this kid deserves to be put away for a long time.  

I think their defense expert testified that she was 6%-39% likely to die had she been wearing a seatbelt. I watched that part of the trial live on YouTube. I  do not know how he arrived at those numbers however at the judge pointed out, she was almost 40% chance to die anyway. So I’m thinking about 50-50. 

I have commented on so many different forums about this topic that can’t remember if I did so somewhere on SETXSports. It is about the definition and Penal Code section on Causation. It basically means that you can’t blame me if it would’ve happened anyway. There was an article on one of the local television stations a few days before the trial and a local attorney gave his opinion on possibly some new evidence might make a difference. I think that’s just lawyer talk (in this case) as they are paid to argue. I have no problem with them arguing, that is their job. I just did not agree in this case and listed the reasons. The judge agreed with me. :)I

Causation says that if your act caused the result, even if combined with another cause, would it have happened anyway? Then, is it also true that the other cause would have been clearly sufficient to cause the result?

The defense gave their best shot saying there was a pet cat in the car and maybe that caused her death by distraction or they didn’t swerve fast enough or they were not wearing seatbelts. The way I read Causation is this, did Torres being intoxicated and driving the wrong way on the highway and hitting the car head on cause a death? If yes (obviously), was there another cause? Sure and at the very least, seat belts. In this case, was having a pet cat in the car and not having on a seatbelt caused their death or serious injury? No. They could’ve driven around the entire shift  and that would not have killed her had it not been for intoxicated driving. With no head on collision, she does not die. In this case the judge did not allow the expert witness to testify in front of the jury. The hearing I watched live was after they had removed the jury from the court room which is not uncommon during a debate what is legal procedures for evidence. Judge Steven’s statement after that testimony outside of the jury, under Causation (he read the law aloud) was about the part where it says the other circumstance was clearly sufficient to cause the result alone. As the judge noted, the defense’s own legal expert said there was almost a 40% chance she would’ve died anyway. So how can you blame not wearing a seatbelt when your own witness almost makes it a 50-50 chance she would’ve died anyway? 

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I will try to give an example of what I think would be Causation showing not guilty. The first fatal accident that I worked as a police officer was this  situation. A guy is going the speed limit or nearly so in a residential neighborhood. A two year old child runs into the road between two cars and the driver probably did not even have time to see the kid. The child was killed.

Did the driver kill the child? Absolutely.

Was there other circumstances that caused the death? Yes.

Was the driver going the speed limit the cause of death? No. Most of us probably drive through the neighborhood streets every day and we aren’t  killing people. What caused the death in this case was a child running into the road in such a time and location that the driver never had a chance to stop and probably never even saw the child. Do you put him in jail for a criminal homicide in that case? No, even though he clearly killed the child, Causation shows us that he is not guilty.

I believe that is the intent of the law. Now to play what if. What if the small child had been wandering down the center of the street and the man should have seen the child a block ahead of time? If the guy was intoxicated or he simply was not paying attention and he killed if the child went realistically he should have been able to stop hundred feet short of hitting the child, would he be guilty? Yes in my opinion.

Both cases can be in the same neighborhood and the same child but in one case the driver had no culpability as it was not his fault that he did not see the child  and in the other case it was the driver’s fault that he didn’t see the child.

 That is Causation. 

This if the section of that law.

CHAPTER 6. CULPABILITY GENERALLY

Sec. 6.04. CAUSATION: CONDUCT AND RESULTS.

(a) A person is criminally responsible if the result would not have occurred but for his conduct, operating either alone or concurrently with another cause, unless the concurrent cause was clearly sufficient to produce the result and the conduct of the actor clearly insufficient. (b) A person is nevertheless criminally responsible for causing a result if the only difference between what actually occurred and what he desired, contemplated, or risked is that: (1) a different offense was committed;

or (2) a different person or property was injured, harmed, or otherwise affected. 

 

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I was on a jury in Orange County a while back and the defendant pleaded guilty, but wanted a jury to sentence him.  He really felt like a jury was more likely to be sympathetic than a Judge.  You know, "Yes, I shot her, but she really had it coming."

It didn't work. 

And I don't expect it to work for this kid, either. 

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I am just completely guessing that some members of the jury gave no credit for her being a police officer. They gave him the max that could have been given to a civilian victim.

I know that is one point the defense was making during the closing arguments. A little more nice but basically the defense attorney said why should police get extra protection.  You could almost always bet that there are some cop haters on the jury. They could not deny the evidence but they could sure hold up the rest of the jury because even the punishment has to be unanimous. you could’ve had 10 jurors going for 50 years but if one or two said they would not agree to anything with more than 20 years max, then it would be a hung jury.

Realistically there is a five year difference in the sentence. With the 30 year plea deal he would’ve had to do 15 calendar years to be parole eligible. With a 20 year sentence he has it in 10 years calendar year before parole eligible.

If he has been in the County Jail since that night, he has almost 2 years credit. With a 20 year sentence he cannot get out on parole at the earliest before 2030. if he would have taken the plea deal, he would’ve been eligible in 2035.

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I suppose him not having any criminal history could have played a role, along with good character witnesses. 

On a side note; what audacity for the defense to ask for probation. 

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6 minutes ago, mat said:

I suppose him not having any criminal history could have played a role, along with good character witnesses. 

On a side note; what audacity for the defense to ask for probation. 

They almost have to. A good attorney isn’t in the trial to be elected to office on popular opinions. He has to defend his sometimes indefensible client. 

He also has a reputation to maintain and ineffective counsel claims. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/25/2022 at 9:16 PM, tvc184 said:

I am just completely guessing that some members of the jury gave no credit for her being a police officer. They gave him the max that could have been given to a civilian victim.

I know that is one point the defense was making during the closing arguments. A little more nice but basically the defense attorney said why should police get extra protection.  You could almost always bet that there are some cop haters on the jury. They could not deny the evidence but they could sure hold up the rest of the jury because even the punishment has to be unanimous. you could’ve had 10 jurors going for 50 years but if one or two said they would not agree to anything with more than 20 years max, then it would be a hung jury.

Realistically there is a five year difference in the sentence. With the 30 year plea deal he would’ve had to do 15 calendar years to be parole eligible. With a 20 year sentence he has it in 10 years calendar year before parole eligible.

If he has been in the County Jail since that night, he has almost 2 years credit. With a 20 year sentence he cannot get out on parole at the earliest before 2030. if he would have taken the plea deal, he would’ve been eligible in 2035.

I don't think that I would have given special consideration for her employer in this case, either.  If he set out to do her in because she was a cop, of course.  But this wasn't intentional and I don't feel like her employment status (because thats the only difference between her and some other civilian that he might have hit) should make a difference.  Kinda like I don't feel like a person of this shade should receive a more harsh punishment for killing a person of that shade, simply because they aren't the same.  If the murder occurred specifically because of their race, then ok.... but not just a general "white on white? 10 years.   White on black? Hate crime, 40 years." Especially when the prosecutions are specifically targeted one way, not the other, even though the "victims" kill many, many more of the "oppressors." 

But y'all ain't ready for that conversation.  

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1 hour ago, CardinalBacker said:

I don't think that I would have given special consideration for her employer in this case, either.  If he set out to do her in because she was a cop, of course.  But this wasn't intentional and I don't feel like her employment status (because thats the only difference between her and some other civilian that he might have hit) should make a difference.  Kinda like I don't feel like a person of this shade should receive a more harsh punishment for killing a person of that shade, simply because they aren't the same.  If the murder occurred specifically because of their race, then ok.... but not just a general "white on white? 10 years.   White on black? Hate crime, 40 years." Especially when the prosecutions are specifically targeted one way, not the other, even though the "victims" kill many, many more of the "oppressors." 

But y'all ain't ready for that conversation.  

I am not sure who isn’t ready for that conversation but…..

In reference to an officer being injured, it is not a special set aside for just police officers. It also involves EMT and firefighters.

That additional penalty is because they have to be out there at all times a day or night and take the additional risk.

When these cases come up, people often cite police this or police that. No special blah blah blah.

That is okay but maybe what most people do not realize is that almost everyone can be covered by the same laws according to the circumstances. When it happens to a member of their family then all of a sudden the law makes sense and people often want it prosecutor “to the extent of the law” and I am not talking about police families. 

If somebody says something like, I’m going to kick your butt, it is a Class C Assault. It is roughly the equivalent of a traffic citation and no jail time can be assessed and it has a maximum of a $500 fine.

If you say those exact same words to a person who “might” testify in let’s say in a traffic citation case (the witness saw a vehicle accident), that barely a crime threat just got bumped to a third degree felony and up to 10 years in prison. Let’s see, a $500 fine or 10 years because a person might have witnessed a traffic accident?

Let’s say we have the same class C threat, I am going to kick your butt..… but you yell it at a referee at a high school football game. Oops, it is not a $500 fine maximum but now up to a $2000 fine and six months in jail. That is not for actually doing anything, that is for a comment to a protected status person.

Am EMT is treating you and you were swinging your arms around screaming and you hit the EMT causing a red mark on his cheek. You did not intend to do it but you were acting recklessly when you caused the minor injury. A misdemeanor?No, we are back to 10 years in prison for something that was not necessarily intentional.

Got mad a Hagar while discussing Trump and slapped  him? Oops, 10 years in prison. Why?  No matter the physical ability, how good of shape they’re in, how much ability they have to defend themselves or anything else, it is a felony to cause even pain to someone 65 or older.

Let’s say a guy grabs a $3 item out of a shopping cart and runs away. Again a class C theft. Turn to run away from the same minor crime and as he does so,  bumps into a 65 year old woman  and she gets a minor scratch on the arm that needs no more treatment than being wiped off with alcohol. A $500 fine? No…    up to 99 years in prison for recklessly injury a person 65 older after shoplifting. Let’s see, a $500 fine or 99 years in prison? Special treatment? 

 I could go on for paragraphs…..

So while we are all entitled to our opinions on punishments, it is often said that police are getting special treatment. That is absolutely true in some cases but almost all members of the public are afforded that same protection. People want to make it a police law when there are dozens of laws protecting regular people due to circumstances.

Opinion is personal but it should be made from a perspective of knowledge, not ignorance.

Also, and there is no way to prove it, but while under oath during questioning to choose a jury (voir dire), the question is almost always asked, can you consider the entire range of punishment? For example is a death penalty case. If under oath during questioning a prospective witness says I will not consider it as penalty because I don’t believe in the death penalty, that person can be rejected with cause. A jury can assess punishment but they do not get to determine the law. In my opinion aperson who testified under oath that he will consider all legal penalties but in reality will not do so, commits a crime. You can’t prove it but a jury is supposed to look at the law the way to written, not legislate from the jury room.

 

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