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Guilty verdict in 2012 vehicular homicide case in Tennessee

It has been demonstrated countless times that youth, speed and alcohol should not be mixed. Many horrifying car accidents have been the result of mixing those three elements. Tennessee residents may be aware that such accidents often result in fatalities and subsequent vehicular homicide charges.

After a trial that lasted two days, with evidence presented by experts and witnesses, a 21-year old male who had pleaded not guilty was found guilty of vehicular homicide that was a result of drunk driving. He smashed into a pole at about at about 2 a.m. one morning in Aug. 2012, causing the death of his passenger. A blood alcohol test that was done on blood drawn from the driver just after the accident showed the percentage to be 0.14, which exceeded the legal level of 0.08.

By removing the speedometer of the crashed vehicle, investigators could prove that the impact of the crash caused the needle to get jammed at 85 mph; however, that was after brake marks starting 220 feet from the final impact. It was thus determined that the man was travelling at an estimated 91 mph in an area where the speed limit is 40 mph. The crash left the driver seriously injured and killed his passenger. A sentence hearing was scheduled for May 5.

Drivers in Tennessee are undoubtedly conscious of the fact that circumstances and evidence as described above may have severe legal consequences. Individuals who are facing vehicular homicide and DUI charges may want to acquire an understanding of relative state laws and court procedures. The accused individual will be regarded as innocent until -- and only if -- the prosecution can produce sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. If the accused person decides to plead guilty, an opportunity to engage in negotiations for a plea agreement may be offered, which could limit the penalties to specific charges.

Source: starhq.com, "Micah Cates found guilty of vehicular homicide in Aug. 2012 crash", Ashley Rader, March 28, 2014

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