Stallworth to avoid manslaughter charges?

In a stunning development, Yahoo! Sports writes that Browns’ receiver Donte Stallworth could avoid a DUI manslaughter conviction stemming from the accident he had in mid-March in which he killed a pedestrian.

According to Florida’s DUI manslaughter law, there are exceptions under what is called “causation” of an accident. In short, someone who is driving drunk and causes an accident is not necessarily responsible if the other party did something to contribute to the accident. Florida statute 316.119 was changed in the 1980s to reflect that after a state Supreme Court judge ruled that the state’s previous strict liability standard on drunken drivers was essentially unfair.

The exception is based on the idea that if a drunken driver stopped at an intersection was hit by another car and the driver of the other car died, the drunken driver should not be held responsible.

In this case, Reyes allegedly was jaywalking at the time he was hit and killed by Stallworth. If Reyes was jaywalking, it could be argued he contributed to the accident. In addition, Stallworth claimed to have flashed his lights and honked his horn at Reyes, which is being interpreted by Stallworth’s side as a way of warning Reyes to get out of the way.

The article also states that Stallworth’s jail time could be reduced to as little as two or three months, which is just flabbergasting considering that he killed a man while driving drunk. This reeks of Leonard Little’s 1998 manslaughter case, in which he only received 90 days in jail, four years probation and 1,000 hours of community service after driving under the influence of alcohol and killing a woman driver.

I feel horrible for the family of the man Stallworth hit. Not only did they lose a member of their family, but now they also have to endure the pain of having Stallworth and his defense team try and prove that he was partly at fault because he jaywalked. Hey, if Stallworth wasn’t being an idiot and driving drunk, maybe this entire situation could have been avoided in the first place. What a tragedy.

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Stallworth facing manslaughter charge

According to the Miami Herald, Browns’ receiver Donte’ Stallworth is facing DUI manslaughter charges and could face up to 15-years in jail.

Donte StallworthDUI manslaughter charges are expected to be filed Wednesday afternoon against Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth, alleging the football player was driving drunk last month when he struck and killed a pedestrian on Miami Beach, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Blood tests revealed Stallworth had a blood alcohol level of .12 after the 7 a.m. crash, a second source with knowledge of the investigation told The Miami Herald.

Arrangements have been made for Stallworth to surrender to authorities, the source said.

Police have been investigating Stallworth since March 14, when police responded to the scene of a fatal car crash at the southeast end of the MacArthur Causeway in Miami Beach.

Police said Stallworth was driving a Bentley east on the MacArthur Causeway about 7 a.m. and struck Mario Reyes, 59, who was getting off work and crossing the street to get to a bus stop.

This entire situation is sad. It’s sad that Stallworth made an incredibly poor decision to drive while under the influence and it’s obviously even sadder that a man lost his life because of it. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. Stallworth made a huge mistake and it looks like he’ll pay for it. (Then again, Leonard Little was charged with DUI manslaughter and all he served was 90 days in jail, so who knows how long Stallworth will get.)

I just pray for everyone in involved and I feel for the victim’s family

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