Friday, March 20, 2009

Football player kills man as a DUI, but it's no big deal

Lovely. A football player for the Cleveland Browns drove, drunk, and hit a pedestrian who was on his way to his bus stop. The full article, from WUSA9:

MIAMI (AP) -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth was driving drunk when he struck and killed a pedestrian, according to published and broadcast reports Thursday. WSVN-TV reported Thursday that unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigation said Stallworth's blood-alcohol level was between .08 and .16. The legal limit is .08. The Miami Herald also cited an unnamed source as saying that Stallworth's blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit.

The Miami Beach Police Department refused to confirm the reports. Ed Griffith, spokesman for Miami-Dade County prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle, would say only that the investigation is focusing on whether alcohol was a factor in the death of 59-year-old Mario Reyes.

Reyes was struck and killed by a Bentley driven by Stallworth about 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Reyes, a crane operator, had just gotten off work and was trying to catch a bus when he was hit.

No charges have been filed against Stallworth, 28. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, nor his attorney, Robert Switke, returned calls from The Associated Press seeking comment. Stallworth issued a statement Wednesday saying he was "grief stricken" over Reyes' death.

If Stallworth was drunk, he could be charged with DUI manslaughter which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns as a free agent before last season but was injured much of the year. He previously played for New England, Philadelphia and New Orleans in the NFL and played college football at Tennessee.

Seeing as the victim was 1) a pedestrian 2) possibly not white 3) working class 4) approaching his bus stop and the driver 1) inflicted homicide but 2) is a football star (plus 3) "everybody makes mistakes") I'm sure his career will remain strong, even though the crane operator's will not. Even replacing alcohol with speed I'm sure "manslaughter" wouldn't factor into the outcome.

Here's the thing. It's not on the evening news. It's not in the two daily papers I read, it's not in my twitter or RSS feeds. It's not in Google News, and since it's not a dog fighting scheme, I won't be surprised when it remains that way.

Gumble grumble grumble.

No comments: