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Milwaukee Homicide Defense

Criminal Charges in Cases of Accidental Death – Len Bias

A very new trend is emerging in homicide prosecutions throughout the United States. Legislatures have criminalized many different kinds of accidental behaviors from the wife whose husband dies after she gives him an Oxycontin, known as a Len Bias type homicide, to the traffic violator who kills a child while speeding. Neither of these accused defendants woke up one morning and said, I think today I am going to kill my husband or I don’t care if I am speeding and to hell with it if anyone’s child gets in my way.

By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN, Texas (AP)

At 17, Laura Bush ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing her boyfriend who was driving it, according to an accident report released to The Associated Press on Wednesday. Mrs. Bush is the wife of Republican presidential nominee-to-be George W. Bush the Texas governor. “It was a very tragic accident that deeply affected the families and was very painful for all involved, including the community at large,” said her spokesman, Andrew Malcolm. “To this day, Mrs. Bush remains unable to talk about it.” Mrs. Bush did say in March, when asked at a campaign stop about the crash, “I know this as an adult, and even more as a parent, it was crushing … for the family involved and for me as well.”

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According to the two-page accident report released Wednesday by the city of Midland, Laura Welch was driving her Chevrolet sedan on a clear night shortly after 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, 1963, when she drove into an intersection and struck a Corvair sedan driven by 17-year-old Michael Douglas. Although previous news accounts have reported Douglas was thrown from the car and broke his neck, those details were not in the report. The speed of Laura Bush’s car was illegible on the report. The speed limit for the road was 55. Neither driver was drinking, the police report said. Laura Bush and her passenger, Judy Dykes, also 17, were taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries, according to an accident account printed at the time in the Midland Reporter-Telegram. The police report indicates no charges were filed. That section of the report was left blank. “As far as we know, no charges were filed,” said Midland city attorney Keith Stretcher. “I don’t think it’s unusual that charges weren’t filed.” The police report was released after an open records request was submitted to Midland officials in March. City officials had declined to release the records because the victims were under 18.

If it is your son or wife who is involved in a fatal accident that the state has labeled as murder, hire a lawyer immediately who can prepare the case to show tragic accidents are not crimes. Whether it is a Len Bias Homicide or two teens playing Russian Roulette, who don’t know there is a shell in the chamber, hire the Shellow Group, tragic accidents are not crimes. Laura Bush wasn’t charged with it, should you or your son or daughter be?