MA teen found guilty in texting while driving case
Legal panel weighs in on trial
- Duration 5:29
- Date Jun 6, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on trial
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All right now in Massachusetts teenager found guilty of causing a deadly car crash because he was texting.
While driving is the first of its kind in the states and one of the first and as we've seen really in the country ranks as front of the reasons -- we're taking a closer look at that.
Absolutely and this verdict handed down just today in the case of Aaron -- Guilty as you said of negligent operation of a motor vehicle this involved a terrible head on collision in February of last year between demo and two people.
Who were driving in another car one of -- was killed the other seriously injured.
Devote testified in his own defense and he was asked what he remembers about the crash.
He said that he swerved into the other lane because he suddenly realized that he was getting too close to the car in front of him listen.
Remember that -- mr.
-- yeah -- I don't live pictures right there.
-- When you.
Came up on -- car that was in front of you.
What are you looking down here and -- are you looking out the window.
-- looking at your cell phone.
I was you just were distracted just -- Prosecutors had shown the jury records that to -- had written or received almost 200 text the day of the accident -- before.
And after -- but of those says that none of them took place while he was actually behind the wheel.
At the time of the crash the jury obviously did not believe him he has just been sentenced he faced a possible.
Four years in prison we understand just coming in from the courtroom that Aaron -- gets one year in prison for this conviction -- huge.
And -- so trying to confirm that as well us have a few different headlines can connect -- Rick thank you very much about the possible possible several years.
Witnessed an average of south criminal defense attorney -- Jackson a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Rachel you also heard.
I year sentence were working on confirming that with the court.
It's the -- as you -- that.
That the prosecution was successful here why is that.
Well because ultimately speaking at the -- charge you need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the texting was happening.
While the accident actually occurred but under the statute.
Negligent operation you need to show that your behavior here.
Was negligent enough that it might have resulted in the death of someone and then ultimately somebody died and I think that they might have hinged on that the jury yesterday.
Asked for -- re instruction on negligent operation and they only deliberated for.
A little while on -- so I think I think the prosecutor did a great job.
I -- we're just getting word in that -- Aaron.
Devoe was sentenced to two and a half years in jail but he will -- One full year behind bars at what's your reaction just to this story -- rod -- -- and -- what it means just legally the legal ramifications around the country.
You held legally speaking to and I think it means that they'll be less people who are texting why because one of the things that the law does -- it has a deterrent effect not only on the individual to prevent that specific individual in this case -- -- devolved from doing this again.
But to prevent others from doing it again and remember.
We don't have to do in in this particular stayed on that this state law you don't have to show any intent right normally we look in someone's dad and you have to show they intended to do it.
Here all you have to show was -- someone acted negligently right they were careless and they were not being careful attentive or you have to show that they were at.
Acting recklessly that is they consciously disregarded her -- knew what they were doing could be wrong and could result in a calamity but they did it anyways I think that take away from this -- is that it will prevent others who are thinking about tax thing.
From doing so -- well -- hope joy but I'm curious going back to the points are making about what they had to prove.
For that CB actually.
Motor vehicle homicide they can someone beat you you know fiddling with the radio doing their make -- Try to drink a cup of coffee -- is taxiing different.
Then some of these other activities want to do in a car or maybe how is it the same.
You you know it's such a wonderful point that you're making because there are number above activities that are very similar right -- out of because whether it is you're fiddling with the radio -- make up -- doing your -- it raises the same issue and that -- being distracted the problem here however is there's a specific state law that identifies texting is something that is particularly dangerous and particularly a matter with the legislator legislature.
Had to take hold up to do something about so I think it could lead to those parade of horrible that is -- legislation along the lines of a distraction in general.
As being criminalized and that's something we'll have to look for the future not only by Massachusetts -- but by other states as well.
-- -- -- -- -- -- Absolutely I agree with -- completely and I think that your point was a very valid one but the bottom line is we have a lot here that says you're not allowed to text and drive.
The same you have a law that says you're not allowed to drink and drive -- do drugs and drive everyone recognizes that this is an incredibly dangerous thing.
And when you're sitting in traffic eat every one looks around you look around at every other car somebody's texting and driving -- so I'm really hoping.
I'm really really hoping that that they do come down on legislation and while it might be is Joyce had a parade a horrible I think that.
The legislative intent behind the statute should be ignored and this is a dangerous thing and people shouldn't be doing and a father of three was killed.
They're right and what was just a mention that in Massachusetts it's illegal for a teenager to actually hold the phone have a phone in the car -- under the age of eighteen that's the lies about this this phone was in the front seat with him so.
We'll continue to watch to see the ramifications thank you both for your time today to see Janet saying yeah yeah.
Good to CEO by.