Tomorrow at the L.A. Superior Court, Dept 108, jury selection is expected to begin in the trial of 89 year old Russell Weller for the July 16, 2003 horrific accident that killed 10 and injured 60 people at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Weller's trial is not expected to begin with opening statements until after September 11, 2006
This is a case of an elderly driver suffering from the ageing process and a colossal tragedy. Weller has an otherwise unblemished record in spite of living longer then most Americans.
The trial will prove be a battle of high rent experts paid to testify about the ageing process and it’s effect on drivers.
Steve Cooley’s office is contending Weller’s mishap was no accident but the result of a violent crime without possessing any real evidence of intent.
The defense led by Mark Overland will argue that this was the case of a decent elderly man who simply thought he had his foot on the break pedal instead of the accelerator. The harder Weller pushed the faster his buick traveled. This is an all to common event for older drivers.
Can’t common sense enter somewhere in this mix to give an old man the benefit of the doubt?
I can’t help but believe this really a case of bad government using an old man’s infirmity to cover-up its own negligence by not erecting proper barriers to protect pedestrians at the Farmer’s Market.
Mr. Cooley, have a heart and quit your goofy attempt to give Mr. Weller the kind of stress that may well kill him at his age. Prosecuting Weller will not bring the dead back to life nor cure the injured.
Let's hope for a jury with more sense than Steve Cooley.
This is an early morning report on the jury selection with accident scene video from KNBC-TV.
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