A Georgia judge is deliberating whether to grant a retrial to a 31-year-old man who was convicted in a fatal DUI car accident. If his DUI case is retried, this will be the man’s third trial for the same criminal charges. The case stems from a 2007 accident that killed two passengers who had been riding with the man — one of whom was his brother.
A judge declared a mistrial in the man’s first trial in 2008, after a jury was unable to make a unanimous decision. The man’s second trial occurred in 2010. He was convicted of two counts of homicide by vehicle, DUI and other charges. The conviction resulted in a 22-year prison term.
Later, the man’s attorney argued for a retrial on the basis of new evidence. Allegedly, another driver known to the defendant admitted to the defendant that he had struck the back of his truck, which ultimately caused the accident. Other potential grounds for a retrial were argued regarding issues with the prosecution’s expert witness and issues regarding the prosecution’s closing statement. The attorney further argued that the defendant’s blood alcohol levels may not have been over the legal limit due to problems with an outdated machine that was used by Georgia officials to test the man.
Criminal cases do not necessarily end when a guilty verdict is returned. In many cases, issues remain to argue before the trial court and/or to form the basis for an appeal to a higher court. Because this case involved an alleged DUI accident and fatalities, the punishment of 22 years in prison following conviction was particularly severe. However, if the man succeeds in obtaining a retrial, he may have a third chance to defend himself and achieve a different result.
Source: newstimes.augusta.com, Judge considers new trial for man convicted in 2007 fatal wreck, Valerie Rowell, Jan. 15, 2014