A first in the nation trial has just concluded in Haverhill, MA and the jury has found 18 year old Aaron Deveau guilty of motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Mr. Deveau was accused of sending and receiving text messages in the instance before colliding head in February 2011, striking and killing 55 year old Donald Browley. Mr. Deveau now faces up to two and a half years in the house of correction, possible probation and a ten year license suspension. Fortunately, for Mr. Devaeu it appears that this was charged as a misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide.
Although this case was given plenty of news attention because of the texting component it really was a simple case of negligence. Negligence can exist in many forms, and it did here. According to news reports, Mr. Deveau testified that he was distracted in the moments before the accident. In order for the jury to find someone guilty of negligent operation the government must prove that the person dove in such a way to endanger the lives and safety of the public. One may even be convicted of it even if there is no accident. Here it seems to me to be a tragic event for everyone involved.
About the Author- Attorney Patrick Donovan is Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney that has defended and prosecuted thousands of motor vehicle crimes. Attorney Donovan has an office in Quincy Massachusetts.