I don’t have much to comment on this story, aside from the fact that this has happened and alhamdulilah that justice has been done. I’ve been following it for awhile. One thing that struck me was that he was sentenced to 8 years in prison for this accident that was clearly an accident, even if he had hit the gas instead of the breaks, when someone who was clearly reckless kills someone and only receives 4 years.
Lee insisted from the start that he desperately tried to brake but that the car would not stop. But he was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide and sentenced to eight years in prison. The widespread Toyota recall that began last fall, due in part to sudden unintended acceleration, caused Schafer, who was Lee’s attorney by that time, to seek a new trial.
On Thursday morning, prosecutors offered Lee a deal that would have set him free almost immediately, but also would have left a felony on his record. He rejected it, risking remaining in prison, because he wanted his record cleared.
In the afternoon, Smith ruled that Lee deserved a new trial, citing new evidence and errors by his original trial counsel. Then, just as Lee was being released to await the retrial, Gaertner announced there would be no retrial.
“I think it’s time to bring this very sad event to a close,” she said outside the courthouse. “No appeal, no new charges; this is over.”
Prayers for Mr. Lee and for the family of those who lost their lives in this tragic event.