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  #1  
Old 04-04-2009, 03:10 PM
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6 years for DWT

Calif woman gets 6 years for fatal texting crash

REDDING, Calif. – A woman who crashed into a line of stopped vehicles while text-messaging on her cell phone has been sentenced to six years in a California prison for killing a woman in one of the vehicles.

Deborah Matis-Engle was sentenced Friday by a judge in Redding, Calif.

Investigators said Deborah Matis-Engle was speeding and text messaging when she slammed into the vehicles stopped at a construction zone in August 2007.
Shasta County prosecutor Stephanie Bridgett said the 49-year-old woman had paid several bills by cell phone in the moments before the crash.

She was in the middle of one of those transactions when she struck a vehicle that burst into flames, killing 46-year-old Petra Winn.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Stotter said he will appeal.

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Old 04-04-2009, 03:27 PM
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Life is cheaper here.

4 years for a DUI death yesterday.

Delaware man faces four-year sentence for Sea Isle crash that killed bridesmaid
By TRUDI GILFILLIAN Staff Writer, 609-463-6716

Published: Friday, April 03, 2009

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Delaware resident Jayson Maykut admitted Friday to drinking eight to 10 mixed cocktails at a wedding rehearsal dinner in Upper Township hours before his car crashed into a utility pole, killing his passenger, 25-year-old Megan A. Perry, of Wilmington.

“I did not feel that I was impaired,” Maykut told Superior Court Judge Susan Maven as he explained why he got behind the wheel on the night of May 15, 2008.

But with Perry’s family and friends looking on, Maykut said he has since had time to reflect on the events prior to the crash. “I’m absolutely sure now that I was impaired,” he said.

First Assistant Prosecutor J. David Meyer said Maykut’s blood-alcohol content was .098, above the legal limit of .08.

Maykut initially pleaded not guilty after being indicted in January, but on Friday he accepted a plea offer and pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, a second-degree crime, and driving under the influence.



In exchange for the plea, Maykut, 29, will be sentenced as a third-degree offender to four years in prison under the state’s No Early Release Act, meaning he must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Once he is released, he would remain under parole supervision for three years and lose his driver’s license for between five to 10 years.

Maykut, standing beside his attorney Joseph Rodgers, said he began drinking shortly after he arrived at the Deauville Inn in Strathmere at about 7 p.m. for a friend’s rehearsal dinner. The wedding, where Maykut was expected to be a groomsman, was to take place the following day in Sea Isle City.

Just after 11 p.m., he said Perry, who was to be a bridesmaid, asked if she could ride back to Sea Isle City with him. The two left Strathmere and crossed into Sea Isle City on a clear, dry night when another car pulled out in front of them on Landis Avenue, he said.

Maykut, who according to an accident reconstructionist was traveling in excess of 70 miles per hour, said he swerved to the left to avoid the car because he could not stop in time.

“I lost control of the vehicle,” Maykut said.

The car crashed into a telephone pole at Fifth and Landis Avenue along the city’s northern end, and Perry was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was the combination of Maykut’s blood-alcohol content and the excessive speed that contributed to Maykut’s recklessness, Meyer said. There were also patches of sand on the road.

Defense attorney Joseph Rodgers said he sat down with Maykut and his family and after discussing the facts of the case Maykut opted to plead guilty rather than go to trial.

According to her obituary, Perry was working to earn a master’s degree in education and wanted to become a school guidance counselor.

She had lived in New Zealand, traveled to Alaska and Italy, ran in charity races and volunteered for various organizations. In the week before her death, she completed the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Philadelphia for breast cancer research.

Maykut, an active member of the Delaware Air National Guard, remains free on $100,000 bail and will be sentenced June 5.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2009, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Calif woman gets 6 years for fatal texting crash

REDDING, Calif. – A woman who crashed into a line of stopped vehicles while text-messaging on her cell phone has been sentenced to six years in a California prison for killing a woman in one of the vehicles.

Deborah Matis-Engle was sentenced Friday by a judge in Redding, Calif.

Investigators said Deborah Matis-Engle was speeding and text messaging when she slammed into the vehicles stopped at a construction zone in August 2007.
Shasta County prosecutor Stephanie Bridgett said the 49-year-old woman had paid several bills by cell phone in the moments before the crash.

She was in the middle of one of those transactions when she struck a vehicle that burst into flames, killing 46-year-old Petra Winn.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Stotter said he will appeal.
my neighbors kid was killed last year while he was texting his buddies.6 yrs is not enough in my opinion.i have texting blocked on my phone and if i could both kids would be too,but they bought their own phones so i have no control.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:36 PM
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I have no problem with this.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:29 AM
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Justice served and served well. A friend of mine lost his job as a woman applying makeup rear ended his two year old Mazda pick up. The time he lost got him fired and the money from the insurance wasn't enough for him to go out and get another truck. He went into depression and almost ended his life.

This kind of crime shouldn't be taken lightly and should be aptly punished.
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:00 AM
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Six years is a bit harsh in my opinion. I'm not a fan of the texting-while-driving thing, but six years of your life in the pen and a remaining lifetime of being a convicted felon seems rather harsh for using a phone while driving. I'll bet it was easy for a good lawyer to play the "send a message" card to a dimwitted jury.

I would think this will be appealed, won, and reduced. I have no experience as a sentencing judge, but I would think a year in prison would suffice while sending a message.
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:11 AM
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Six years is a bit harsh in my opinion. I'm not a fan of the texting-while-driving thing, but six years of your life in the pen and a remaining lifetime of being a convicted felon seems rather harsh for using a phone while driving. I'll bet it was easy for a good lawyer to play the "send a message" card to a dimwitted jury.

I would think this will be appealed, won, and reduced. I have no experience as a sentencing judge, but I would think a year in prison would suffice while sending a message.
Would you think 1 year was enough prison time for someone killing your loved one?
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Wodnek View Post
Would you think 1 year was enough prison time for someone killing your loved one?
Hardly....

Friends of mine lost their son last summer to a kid high on weed....
Nice boy. Attended WVU. Wrong place at the wrong time. Sad.


Teen tells of pot's role in crash that killed biker

By TRUDI GILFILLIAN Staff Writer, 609-463-6716

Published: Saturday, April 04, 2009

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Kyle Zalot said he warned Nicholas Golden, but it was too late.
“I said, ‘Look out, there’s a motorcycle,’” Zalot said as he recalled July 21, 2008, the day the car the two Philadelphia men were traveling in crashed into a motorcycle driven by 20-year-old Middle Township resident Craig Lozier.

Golden was driving at an estimated 65 miles per hour at the time, trying to pass two other cars as they traveled down Route 47 toward the shore.

Golden managed to pass the first car, but his attempt to pass the second ended in tragedy.

Zalot, 19, said the car swerved as Golden, 18, lost control, crossing into Lozier’s lane. The car and motorcycle collided, and Lozier, a college student and 2006 graduate of Middle Township High School, was pronounced dead at the scene.



Zalot told his story as part of his agreement to plead guilty to the disorderly persons offense of using or possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana. In exchange for his promise to testify truthfully at Golden’s trial, Zalot received a conditional discharge, meaning he would be monitored for one year and required to report for quarterly drug screenings.
Pictures of Lozier sat on the prosecutor’s table in the court room as Zalot told Superior Court Judge Susan Maven about the hours before the collision.

The crash, Zalot said, happened about three hours after the two men started smoking marijuana.

Zalot said Golden picked him up at about 10:30 a.m. at his house in Fox Chase in northeast Philadelphia. The night before they had attended a graduation party at Golden’s house. “We were going to drive down the shore to our shore house,” Zalot said.

But first they made a stop.

“He wanted to go pick up weed in Olney,” Zalot said.

The pair traveled to an area of row homes, and Golden got out of the car. When he returned, he placed something in the trunk and handed about a half-gram of marijuana to Zalot.

Zalot said he then hollowed out a cigar that was already in the car to make a blunt, or marijuana cigarette, for them to smoke.

“That was smoked and shared between the two of you,” Chief Assistant Prosecutor Rob Johnson asked. “Yes, sir,” Zalot said.

Zalot said he and Golden shared the marijuana, smoking as Golden drove in the city and on the highway leading out of Pennsylvania. Zalot said he was not sure when they stopped smoking, but by the time they reached New Jersey, they were both under the drug’s influence.

“Was he affected by it as well?” defense attorney Joseph Rodgers asked Zalot. “Yes, sir,” he replied.

Zalot said he could tell his friend was under the marijuana’s influence. He had glassy eyes, and his speech was slowed, he said.

They traveled along Route 42, to Route 55 and then to Route 47, the road Lozier was traveling.

After listening to Zalot, Maven accepted Zalot’s guilty plea and gave Lozier’s parents a chance to speak.

Lozier’s father, Scott, said his son’s death had changed countless lives, noting that more than 1,000 people attended the young man’s funeral.

He asked Zalot to look at his son’s pictures.

“That was a human being, and a very good human being,” he said.

Maureen Lozier told Zalot to make something good out of his life and to tell his story to insure that others do not suffer her son’s fate.

“You be an advocate for not driving under the influence of anything,” she said.

Zalot, a student at Temple University, apologized.

“I’m deeply sorry about what happened,” he said.

Maven warned once again against the dangers of driving under the influence of any drug.

“Marijuana has become the new cigarette,” she said, adding there is nothing legal about smoking marijuana. “It’s not okay.”

She continued, “Marijuana does exactly what we know it does. It dulls your senses.”

Like Maureen Lozier, the judge then told Zalot to live a meaningful live.

Maven then placed Zalot on the conditional discharge. He must testify in future proceedings, take quarterly drug tests and attend at least two Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per month.

Golden was indicted on a first-degree aggravated manslaughter charge for Lozier’s death. He also faces numerous drug charges.

If convicted, Golden faces between 10 and 30 years in prison for the manslaughter charge.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:26 AM
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HJere's my answer- I'm tired of " careless is ok "

Quote:
Originally Posted by POS View Post
Six years is a bit harsh in my opinion. I'm not a fan of the texting-while-driving thing, but six years of your life in the pen and a remaining lifetime of being a convicted felon seems rather harsh for using a phone while driving. I'll bet it was easy for a good lawyer to play the "send a message" card to a dimwitted jury.
I would think this will be appealed, won, and reduced. I have no experience as a sentencing judge, but I would think a year in prison would suffice while sending a message.
NO.
She killed someone when she had complete control.
This is the worse type of mindless negligence. It was totally avoidable, not caused by the car, equipment, weather, fatiguie, just SELFISHNESS.

I want this to become a national issue.

I see people driving like it's Grand Prix #3 on the freeway every day, and some of them end up on the side of the road or in a ditch.

It's the others they kill who have done nothing.

They should at least receive therapeutic electric shock treatment.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:57 AM
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#1 distraction while driving? Eating, not cell phones. What's the difference between driving while texting and driving while eating? Or driving while flossing? Or driving while applying makeup? Or driving while adjusting the radio? Or driving while looking at a hot chick walking her dog on the sidewalk?

It was an ACCIDENT, in this case someone died over it, but six years for accident seems way out of line. You won't believe me when I say it, but I'll say it anyways - if it was my wife who was killed by that woman, I would still think six years is unfair. It was an accident - no different than an accident caused by the other scenarios listed above.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:59 AM
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Cellphones should not be used while driving.....period. Yesterday, I saw an idiot woman in an SUV come within inches of creaming a fellow Forum members car on the way to a GTG.
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:39 PM
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Six years is a bit harsh in my opinion. I'm not a fan of the texting-while-driving thing, but six years of your life in the pen and a remaining lifetime of being a convicted felon seems rather harsh for using a phone while driving.
For killing someone. Not for using a phone.
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:45 PM
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Yes it was an accident, but there are degrees of homicide/manslaugter that do no require specific intent . . only a certain level of indifference/negligence. I would be curious what defenses were applied at trial to answer the state´s case. Secondarlily, I wonder what type of judicial error will be alleged in the appeal.
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:00 PM
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I think we ought to make people learn how to drive before they get a license. All the rules and regs are meaningless when you have a person who does not know how to drive. The pot story earlier in the thread, IF the dumbass kid wasn't passing people two at a time, the tragedy would have been avoided, pot or no pot. Cell phones are a potential menace to a driver, but I have been using a cell phone for years while driving, and it has never been an issue. Here in CT, a wrecker driver is allowed to drive and use a cell phone, as are police. Why? Because they know how to drive. Texting while you drive is STUPID. Takes way too much time away from your concentration on the road. A person who knows how to drive understands that. As our population gets larger and lerger, we will have more and more driving laws foisted upon us, and as of yet, no call to restrict getting a drivers license.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:08 PM
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#1 distraction while driving? Eating, not cell phones. What's the difference between driving while texting and driving while eating? Or driving while flossing? Or driving while applying makeup? Or driving while adjusting the radio? Or driving while looking at a hot chick walking her dog on the sidewalk?

It was an ACCIDENT, in this case someone died over it, but six years for accident seems way out of line. You won't believe me when I say it, but I'll say it anyways - if it was my wife who was killed by that woman, I would still think six years is unfair. It was an accident - no different than an accident caused by the other scenarios listed above.
when the automobile operator has walked around the car prior to starting the car, checking tire pressure and making sure no children or pets or in the path of the car, turned the cell phone OFF, thrown the phone into the back seat of the car, turned the radio/CD player OFF, put the cigarettes away and cracked the windows so they can hear emergency sirens, i.e. firetrucks, police, etc. both hands at the 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM positions on the steering wheel, eyes focused on the road while checking all eight "defense zones" (front, left front, left side, left rear, rear, right rear, right side, right front) with a steady eye on the road in front.

Question: might an accident still happen? of course, a real honest accident can happen to anyone at anytime.

Has the statistical probability of being the CAUSE of an accident been reduced? a definite YES.

this style of driving has saved my butt in plenty of instances from texting, cell phone yakking, DVD watchin' friggin IDIOTS who should not be behind the wheel of a 2 ton KILLING MACHINE. whether using a knife, gun or car, if their irresponsible actions cause DEATH to someone they need to face justice.

question is, what exactly is "justice"?? if they kill someone while texting, they have potentially wrecked the lives of the family. but do these self-serving texters give a rats behind that they impacted the lives of an entire FAMILY? I think we all know the answer to that one. as long as they can eat a big mac with one hand, text with the other and smoke a cigarette, they simply care about one thing and one thing only. THEMSELVES. their self serving egos have caused death and trauma to innocents who did not deserve to die just so they could pay a light bill.

Six years? a mere slap on the wrist for causing pain, trauma and the taking of a life. at the end of six, they get out and go on with their lives. meanwhile the pain and trauma they caused the family never ends......

Here's a prediction. I predict that this cell phone texting bimbo serves her six and gets out and does it AGAIN. While in jail, she will complain to the other prisioners that she was "railroaded" and her "sentence was too harsh", etc etc. Six years then back on the street. check your rear view mirror..........


Last edited by HuskyMan; 04-05-2009 at 05:25 PM.
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