In downtown L.A. the Manslaughter trial of 89, year-old George Russell Weller is winding down. Cooley’s prosecutors have been beating up Weller before a jury over the accidental deaths of ten unfortunate souls who died when the old gent became confused while driving at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market three years ago.
Weller made that common and well documented error of stepping on the gas pedal instead of the break pedal losing control of his Buick. It’s a phenomenon that often affects elderly drivers called “Pedal Error” and "unintended acceleration".
During this trial the best defense witnesses were some of the cops sent to investigate this horrible accident. Of course prosecutors never missed an opportunity to twist Weller’s, remorse, concern and heartbreak for the victims into some kind of confession to criminal wrongdoing.
At least the judge excused Weller from attending this grueling trial for other than appearances at the beginning and end of this circus. That decision by the trial judge was a humanitarian act.
The cost to the taxpayers and Weller for this pathetic persecution will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If Cooley can’t put Weller in prison perhaps he can simply kill him through stress.
Closing arguments are expected today and the case should go to the jury before the end of the week.
I’m hoping that the judge will have the courage to render a directed, Not Guilty verdict before the arguments begin, saving the jury from the trouble of laughing (or crying) this sad episode out of court.
KNBC-TV was not allowed to bring a camera into the courtroom but has provided a daily blog written by producer Cindy Vandor tracking this case. You can that blog read here.
Here is a computer anamation provided by the defense to show Weller's point of view as his car went out of control.
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