Monday, November 16, 2009

Update On The Thompson Case

As some of you have no doubt heard, the jury has reached a verdict in the Thompson case. The jury found the defendant guilty on all seven counts charged:
- Count 1: Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury (victim: Ron Peterson)
- Count 2: Battery with Serious Bodily Injury (victim: Ron Peterson)
- Count 3: Battery with Serious Bodily Injury (victim: Christian Stoehr)
- Count 4: Reckless Driving (victims: Patrick Watson and Josh Crosby)
- Count 5: Assault with a Deadly Weapon (victim: Ron Peterson)

NOTE: The jury also found that the defendant had committed a Special Allegation of "Causing Great Bodily Injury"

- Count 6: Assault with a Deadly Weapon (victim: Christian Stoehr)

NOTE: The jury also found that the defendant had committed a Special Allegation of "Causing Great Bodily Injury"

- Count 7: Mayhem

If you are unaware of this case and the verdict I copied some links below for you to review.
The range for the defendant is anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison and the District Attorney is anticipating that the defense will submit a boatload of letters to the judge and/or the probation department on his client's behalf. Please, if anyone from the community who has views on the sentencing you are also allowed to write the judge and/or probation officer.

As the defense will probably argue that no one else's opinion is relevant to this defendant, the District Attorney will indicate that we are offering letters toward the issue of general deterrence, in other words, simply because the defendant was in his car does not change the blunt nature of the unmitigated assault on the cyclists and that drivers everywhere must become aware that they have to share the road. To that end, anyone who would like to contribute a letter or an e-mail may send it to the District Attorney's office (below) or to the District Attorney herself, her e-mail address is also below. She will package all the letters and e-mails for us and submit them with her motion so the judge gets them all at once instead of a slow trickle. She plans to file the motion at the end of next week so it would be great if she had the letters/e-mails by then. And, yes, the more, the better.

Please address your letters appropriately, like we were able to touch on in court, which is that cyclists are not some alien breed of monsters that are claiming the streets, but regular people, fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, police officers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, teachers.... So, if anyone is writing a letter, it would be nice if you could begin with an identifying fact such as what your occupation is and that you are a motorist and a cyclist. I truly appreciate everyone's commitment to this request and I hope you all feel the same as I do in making sure the defendant serves his appropriate time in prison for all 7 counts the jury found him guilty on and not just a slap on the wrist and probation. Please make your voice heard as I spent a great deal of my own personal time throughout this entire process and because I'm passionate about trying to make our community a better place to ride our bikes. Also, please forward on to your cycling community and make your voice heard throughout your area. This has resulted in National attention and the more letters from across the country the louder our voice will be heard.

Thank you,
Patrick Watson
Mary Stone
E-mail Address:
District Attorney's Office
Attn. Mary Stone
11701 S. LaCienega
Los Angeles, CA 90045,0,761131.story

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