Driver’s medical condition rejected by jury in vehicular homicide

In July, we brought you the story of a 50-year-old St. Paul man who was arrested after he was involved in a car accident that claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl outside of Harding High School. The man was arrested on charges of felony criminal vehicular homicide, despite the fact that he told police that his arms and legs had gone numb in the moments leading up to his crash. Unfortunately, the jury still believed he should have been able to stop his car from hitting the girl.

The 50-year-old is awaiting sentencing after he was convicted of felony criminal vehicular homicide and gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation. The Ramsey County Attorney says that even though the driver had apparently lost all feeling in his limbs there was an expectation that he be able to keep control of his vehicle. According to the attorney, his speed played a role in the accident.

It is unknown what kind of medical treatment the man has had since the accident regarding the lack of feelings in his limbs or whether that was adequately brought up in court. While it is up to a jury to decide whether an individual is guilty of the crimes of which he or she is accused, it is up to the suspect’s attorney to bring up important evidence that will clear an individual’s name, such as a medical condition that hampers a driver’s ability to control his vehicle.

The man will be sentenced on Dec. 17, and the statutory guidelines suggest a sentence of four years in prison.

For more information on this case, please read our previous post on this St. Paul car accident.

Source: CBS Minnesota, “Man Found Guilty In Crash That Killed 16-Year-Old,” Nov. 14, 2012

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.