This morning, NFL player Donte' Stallworth was booked on DUI manslaughter charges and shortly after released on $200,000 bond. Mike Florio, a respected football blogger at Pro Football Talk, claims Stallworth's legal team is hoping persecutors drop the DUI manslaughter charges and let him off with only a DUI:
For DUI manslaughter in Florida, there's no strict liability. The
prosecution must prove -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- that the driver
caused or contributed to the causation of the collison.
The key, as it always is in criminal cases, is reasonable doubt.
Experts in accident reconstruction can readily testify as to the
reality that, as in this case, a man jaywalking in a multiple-lane
highway with a posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour might very well
have been struck by Stallworth even if his BAC had been 0.0 percent.
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According to Police reports, Stallworth stated he had time to honk and flash his lights at the victim, who was not in a crosswalk, before he hit him, but not enough time to stop the car or swerve. The question, it seems, is whether prosecutors would press the point that perhaps if Stallworth were not drunk, he would have been better able to maneuver the car to avoid the crash. Or if, as Florio states, whether the victim could have been hit by anyone in that situation.