Mass. teen found guilty in fatal texting while driving crash
Legal panel weighs in on the verdict
- Duration 5:50
- Date Jun 6, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on the verdict
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Kelly started back in session on the docket today a verdict in the case that is the first of its kind in one state and it could change the way hopefully.
That people drive.
A Massachusetts jury finding eighteen year old -- Devoe guilty.
Of causing a deadly car crash because he was texting on his cell phone while -- was driving.
That is a crime.
For which team is now expected to spend a year in prison.
He collided with Donald -- junior last February the father of three.
Died from his injuries.
And -- took the stand in his own defense in this case very rare these days.
Saying he was not sending or receiving any text messages before the head on collision.
You just were distracted and just -- Can you create your car to come close enough.
To another car.
That you're this -- out of the way.
Yeah yeah so there's -- He's staying on direct that you -- distracted because of.
Extra money you're going home you know -- Just learn do you have a lot of my -- Monday.
What a -- says the jury.
Turning now to discuss it -- including -- legal analyst leased real and -- spell gore was a former prosecutor and now defense.
The jury just they didn't buy it because the defense had him testified that he never picked up that cell phone from the -- got behind it really put it on the passenger seat next to him.
And he was not texting.
Moments before the accident -- the jury rejected it out right weeks right exactly and the jury had phone records the prosecution brought in phone records showing that he had texted a 193.
Times -- during that day now not all during the accident of course not all that.
But a 190 to the -- -- exactly but with -- girlfriend.
And look okay distracted by -- looks like -- thinking about homework that's something you're thinking about and you had you can still be visualizing the -- but when you're looking down at the cell -- and you -- and are sending text you're not looking by definition you're not looking up the road and that's the jury found.
Was negligent it's negligence there.
Manslaughter here it's not intentional he didn't do it with any kind of mouse but he was negligent in driving Altec.
To John here is heat he testified he never -- -- he gotten that car.
They that the police say he received two messages -- text messages one at 2:34 PM.
And a second one -- 2:35.
PM the accident happened at 2:36.
PM so the prosecution's theory was.
You got the second -- at 235.
You were reading it and you had an accident within sixty seconds.
Yet it especially if there any parents on that -- we all -- -- seeing kids.
Tax we all -- hopefully we don't text and drive but that's so close in time that come on I I don't believe his testimony either how ever what I don't like about this verdict is -- Teenagers are the biggest culprits when it comes to texting and driving this in -- tragedy texting to distracted driving is -- bad.
But we can't lying president with a budget is we have to do something different it just -- -- lock -- up and throw away the T but but don't have to send a message we're having a pardon upon -- have got to send a message because.
Winning a second I mean if this kid had not ban texting while driving good chance that that man father of three with still real -- -- but got to be able to -- something and you don't have somebody taking responsibility for his actions -- about one -- it became so I'm devastated I did right wrong didn't and cut a plea but.
He according to this jury -- listen -- exchange he had with a -- -- about the alleged time I don't forget.
They he received two messages one a 2341 at 235 the accident happens at 236.
You said it's converted for just a little and you said in response to the same phone number from 233.
Yes did you receive tax it's 35.
Australians and it was from the same phone number they UN.
Saturday it's -- to 34.
And -- your testimony.
That you are not distracted.
Do you suspect this morning.
John would you advise him go in there.
-- and you messed up and you're stupid teenager.
-- -- this indicate that I definitely would've would've Platt because that testimony is -- unbelievable.
But the other part of this argument is.
You know where does it -- -- -- we have another slippery slope here kids are listening to the radio the plane with the iPod or talking up on their eating of putting the mascara on he.
We -- where does it and I know we're trying to send a message with texting and driving but come on I.
Don't -- -- imprisoned for two and a half years.
Is -- the answer John at least is there something uniquely distracting though about tech absolutely because you -- Sweetly looking -- I've read some studies making this afternoon.
That show that it is some studies have said that texting while driving is actually more dangerous get this -- driving drunk and they -- actual studies about how.
Long it takes someone to stop after.
They're texting and see something and it's just really fright that's why does testimony about how he had to swerve to avoid -- exactly you know everybody was -- marks.
Going up today -- he had -- sought at the last second he tried to swerve and when an oncoming traffic.
-- -- man is dead -- rather of three is dead because he felt such urgency to discuss what ever nonsense with his girlfriend.
I mean I hope all of our audience will think twice.
Before they think their business on their cell phone and their Blackberry is solid pouring it can only you -- get to that can't wait pulled -- market until parking lot do something else but stopped the car so inconsiderate it's so.
Reckless -- Bryant went dead.
Panel thank you both so much.