Judge Tosses Out Conviction Of Driver Who Fatally Doored Cyclist
Initially Francis denied causing the collision and her attorney argued that she only briefly left the scene to pick up her mother, and later returned. Prosecutors initially wanted to charge Francis with leaving the scene on an collision, which is a felony. However the charge was dismissed because Judge Mangano pointed out to jurors that the statute requires "a moving vehicle, not a parked one. The accident is irrelevant."
Herron's mother, Wendy Clouse, commented to the paper through her attorney: "I cannot understand how a judge can change the verdict of 12 jurors. This girl did something illegal that led to my daughter’s death. To make it worse, she left the scene.” Clouse is pursuing a civil suit against Francis and the MTA, which Francis' attorney argues is where the case belongs. “This wasn’t the proper venue to resolve this but we’re happy with the outcome,” lawyer Michael Baum says.
"It's outrageous that there will be no penalty for the series of careless decisions that ended Jasmine Herron's life," Transportation Alternatives spokesman Michael Murphy says. "But this is hardly the first time that a dangerous driver avoided facing justice in our city. The Mayor needs to follow the recommendations of Council Members Vacca and Vallone and take a comprehensive look at the way law enforcement and our courts handle dangerous driving cases with a Mayoral Taskforce. "