The Monmouth County Prosecutors Office and a Howell man resolved death by auto charges this week. The underage suspect struck a tree resulting in the death of a 16 year old passenger. The defendant was allegedly operating his vehicle in a reckless manner at the time of the crash. The resolution included a plea to a downgraded offense of Second Degree Aggravated Assault from an original charge of vehicular homicide.
In another auto death case, an Ocean County women who was previously a contestant on American Idol, was struck by an individual subsequently charged with a crime. The suspect, who was apprehended and arrested several days after the accident, has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. The criminal charges are now pending in the Superior Court in Toms River.
While charges of the nature involved in both these cases are extremely serious, this pedigree of offense tends to be susceptible to numerous defenses. This is particularly true where there is no evidence of drugs or alcohol, or where the evidence is prone to collateral attack. Experience in handling complicated issues of intoxication and proof thereof clearly comes in handy in the majority of these cases and one would assume that they could be of assistance in these cases.