While reckless behavior behind the wheel may not be expected from on-duty police officers, one former Connecticut officer driving 94 mph was involved in a fatal car accident resulting in the death of two 19-year-olds.
At the time of the accident, the officer was not responding to an emergency, nor was his siren or lights in use. He was, however, returning from a call to assist at a riot at an area club. The officer, who has since been fired from the Milford Police Department, is facing charges while a jury decides his fate.
The 37-year-old former officer pled not guilty and his attorney argued there was an ‘intervening cause’ for the crash, citing the other driver’s negligent acts and blood alcohol concentration. In the other car, a 19-year-old driver failed to follow traffic laws established in Connecticut and throughout the U.S. He did not come to a complete stop at a flashing red light, failed to yield the right of way to the officer’s vehicle and had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.14, the defense attorney argued.
A jury of six reached a verdict of not guilty to two counts of second-degree manslaughter, yet when the judge hearing the case asked for their verdict regarding lesser charges of misconduct with a motor vehicle or negligent homicide, the jury declared him guilty of both. This being contrary to the judge’s instructions, that verdict was not accepted and the jury was instructed to continue deliberations. Afterward, the jury informed the judge they were unable to agree as to a verdict and sought to rescind their earlier agreement. This was met with instructions by the judge to return to deliberations and vote using “honesty and good conscience.”
Source: New Haven Register, “Ex-Milford cop cleared of manslaughter in fatal Orange crash; jury back deliberating,” Phyllis Swebilius, Nov. 6, 2012