When a crash is bad enough, the at-fault driver can also receive criminal charges. In fatality crashes, it’s usually some form of vehicular manslaughter. But sometimes the charge is murder.
The Mercury News reports that the Alameda DA wants to upgrade one accused driver’s charges from manslaughter to murder. The accused driver is believed to have run over a mother of 7 who was picking up her child from school.
In addition, he left the scene of the accident and has unrelated DUI charges. Video footage caught the driver driving recklessly on other occasions.
Murder charges require a higher burden of proof than manslaughter, so upgrading the charges is risky. The prosecutors are waiting on a ruling from the judge about the charge upgrade on July 1.
In order for a murder charge to stick, the prosecutors must prove that the suspect either deliberately killed his victim or ignored obvious signs that his actions were dangerous to human life.
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It is the second section, also called implied malice, that they may be leaning toward. The suspect allegedly sped through an intersection at 98th Avenue and Cherry Street in Oakland, killed the victim, then kept going. Then he got into another crash on the same road at Plymouth Street, hit a car, and left that scene as well.
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