Sunday, November 27, 2011

The criminal trial of the truck driver who killed Sylvia over 26 months ago in Cleveland has finally concluded. Herschel Roberts was convicted Monday 11/21 of “aggravated vehicular homicide” due to recklessness. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison and had his driver’s license revoked for life. Various articles and TV news clips can be found by googling “herschel roberts cleveland.”

We were wonderfully supported by Sylvia’s friends and the Cleveland biking community throughout the trial. We were unhappy that evidence of the use of drugs by the driver (16 times the legal limit) was ‘suppressed’ (not admitted) by the judge in the bench trial (no jury, at the defendant’s request) but he nonetheless concluded that Roberts had to have seen Sylvia in his side mirrors had he looked before turning sharply right. His failure to exercise care was deemed recklessness.

Several legal issues which are important for the biking community in Ohio arose during the two-year legal proceedings which Steve will be addressing as part of his work on the Sylvia Bingham Fund (SBF) when he reduces his work time at Bay Area Legal Aid to 20% in January.

Expect to hear from us as we strive to raise more funds to underwrite the Fund’s donations to grass-roots organizations whose work corresponds to the SBF mission. If you would like to claim a 2011 tax deduction, we encourage donations at this time to the Peace Development Fund. See the 'contact and donation info' page for details on how to make donations. In January, the items regarding legal proceedings will be moved to an inside page as the website evolves into the SBF’s central communications medium.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Criminal Trial will start on Monday, November 14

It was confirmed this week that the criminal trial of Herschel Roberts who killed Sylvia over two years ago will finally begin at 9 a.m. on November 14 at the Cuyahoga Count Justice Center at 1200 Ontario St. in downtown Cleveland in room 19D, Judge Gaul presiding. The criminal charges are Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Failure to Stop After an Accident. The trial is expected to last up to one week. The trial is of course open to the public and anyone interested is encouraged to attend. -- Steve and Francoise

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Criminal Trial Delayed Again

We are not good bloggers! As many of you know by now, the criminal trial has once more been postponed from April 13, with no new trial date set. The criminal defense attorney was in the middle of a murder trial that itself had been postponed. There will be a hearing with witnesses on May 2 to consider the defendant's motion to suppress all evidence relating to the urine drug test of the defendant that revealed he had over 16 times the legal limit of marijuana metabolites in him. The argument to suppress? The test was conducted by a company that was not licensed by the State of Ohio, even though the tests were done pursuant to regulations of the US Department of Transportation. The new trial date won't even be set until the hearing occurs on May 2. The disfunctionality of the criminal justice system is unbelievable and very discouraging for Francoise and me. This is perhaps the sixth or seventh postponement of the trial. Sylvia was killed by the driver over 19 months ago. Francoise and I will of course be going to the hearing.

Meanwhile, a second round of grants from the Sylvia Bingham Fund is about to be made. The names of the organizations will be posted on the website shortly.

Please remember Sylvia on what would have been her 24th birthday on April 22, Earthday. We still love to receive remembrances of time spent with her. Her spirit burns brightly and we want it to do so always.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Criminal Trail set for Feb. 28

The criminal trial of the driver who killed Sylvia is set for February 28. See the comment to the last post. The driver was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. The civil trail against the driver and his employer, Leff Electric, will hopefully happen in late spring. Francoise and I will of course be in Cleveland for both trials and would love to hear from any of you. Steve