Something’s Fishy Here
A Jefferson County judge has dismissed a manslaughter charge against a Trussville teenager involved in a fatal wreck that killed a father and daughter and seriously injured a mother, court records show.
Edgar Martinez, 19, was charged with two counts of manslaughter, one count of first-degree assault and felony leaving the scene of an accident.
In a preliminary hearing Tuesday, District Judge Sheldon Watkins dismissed all charges except leaving the scene of an accident.
Testimony in the hearing showed that Martinez was a part of a chain-reaction wreck that started when a vehicle in front of Martinez’ suddenly slammed on its brakes.
Martinez veered and the vehicle in front of him struck an SUV containing the victims, Kenneth Weant, 55; Shirley Weant, age unavailable, and their daughter, Ashley Weant.
If this summary is accurate, why in the world was he charged with manslaughter or assault? He did not hit the other car, and I can’t imagine how anything he did caused the car in front of him to hit another car.
And for the judge to have dismissed the case at a preliminary hearing, there must not have been any connection between him and the deaths. All the state has to do is establish probably cause. Normally, it’s such a rubber stamp procedure that defense attorneys treat it as nothing more than a chance to get some information about the state’s case. So when a judge does toss a case, it means there was no case at all.
Which makes me wonder what the real reason for the charges was.