07 January 2010

Tale of the Phantom Driver

Kids Prefer Cheese | Angus | How to make a bad impression

Say that you are ex-NBA player Jayson Williams. Your original murder trial partly cleared you, and now you are just chillin' waiting to be retried for reckless manslaughter.

You have some time on your hands so.... why not go out, drive drunk and crash your SUV?

Sure, that's the ticket!

The funniest part of the story is that when police arrived at the scene, Williams was sitting in the passenger seat as if someone else was driving. However witnesses told the cops that he was the only one in the car the whole time.

I guess he's a fan of Arrested Development.
Two stories:

(1) I had a couple of friends in high school, and let's just say they weren't the sharpest bulbs in the hamper. They both just got their driver's licenses, and they're driving along one evening when a cop pulls up behind them and turns on his flashers for a second. They get nervous, and not knowing what to do, keep driving. The cop turns on the flashers and keeps following. They keep driving. The cop squaks the siren; they panic and keep driving. After a couple of miles of this they finally pull over. Not wanting to get in trouble just days after getting their licenses, they decide to duck down into the footwells and pull their jackets over themselves in an attempt to hide. I suppose they were hoping that the cop wouldn't see anyone in the car and just assume it was driving itself.

The driver ended up getting off with a warning because the cop was just trying to tell her that she didn't have her headlights on. I can only assume he was also disarmed by her stunning naivete.

(2) My father told me this (too good to be true?) story once of a colleague of his who defended a drunk driver one time. The driver, call him Tom, was pickled drunk, and smashed his car into the corner of a guy's house. He unbuckled himself from the driver's seat and slid across to the passenger seat, and passed out. When the cops show up he keeps repeating "Where's Joe?" Over and over he asks for Joe.

So he gets to his trial, and the cop shows up and gives his story about how Tom was visibly intoxicated and marginally conscious and even admitted to drinking and had driven his car into a house. Then Tom's lawyer questions the cop:

Tom's Lawyer: Did my client say anything else to you that night?
Cop: No.
Lawyer: Nothing at all?
Cop: No.
Lawyer: He didn't ask about Joe?
Cop: Well sure he did, but it was just drunken rambling. There wasn't anyone named Joe there.
Lawyer: How do you know?
Cop: The defendant was the only person at the scene. There was no one named Joe.
Lawyer: How can you be sure? Did you check the vicinity for Joe? Did you ask witnesses if they had seen another man? Have you made any efforts to identify who Joe might be?
Cop: There wasn't anyone at the scene named Joe.
Lawyer: Did it occur to you that my client kept asking about Joe's wherabouts specifically because he was no longer at the scene? Isn't it possible that Joe had been there and had left?

Tom ended up getting off because the cop had no way of determining whether Tom or a potential Joe had been driving.

Boom. Lawyered.

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