Showing posts with label manslaughter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manslaughter. Show all posts

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trial Set For Steven Molin- Son Accused In Mother's Death

SNOW HILL -- A man charged with murdering his mother by hitting her with a van on a rural Worcester road has pleaded not guilty, and is set to have a jury trial on Jan. 4.

Steven Molin, a 58-year-old man from Darby, Pa., was charged after allegedly running over his 85-year-old mother, Emily Belle Molin, with a large work van on Carey Road on Aug. 31.

Police were alerted to the crime when Molin called 911 around midnight to report a serious motor vehicle accident, according to officers from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation.

Molin later told police he and his mother were riding in his vehicle, which he was driving, when his mother fell out. He told police once he realized she had fallen, he stopped and drove in reverse.

Accident reconstruction specialists looking at the scene were able to tell the elderly woman had been driven over two to three times, police said.

Based on his interview with police and the forensic evidence from the scene, Molin was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter. He is being held without bond in Worcester County Jail.

Worcester County State's Attorney Joel Todd said he is not seeking the death penalty for Molin if he is convicted. Under Maryland law, to press for a sentence of death there must be "aggravating circumstances," such as a robbery or rape, which are not present in this case, Todd said.

Burton Anderson, assistant public defender for Worcester County, is representing Molin. "Because the case is pending before the court, it would be inappropriate for me to make any comment," Anderson said.

Court records show the Public Defender's Office has filed several motions to prepare Molin's defense, including one seeking a transcript of the 911 call made by Molin, as well as copies of all police photographs taken at the scene.

The Public Defender's Office has also filed routine motions to receive pre-trial documents and evidence, including the name and address of each person the state intends to call as a witness, and the criminal history of anyone the state intends to call as a witness or who has been viewed as a suspect.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sentence Is Given To Drunk Driver For Cyclist's Death Near OC

SNOW HILL -- A Worcester County District Court judge sentenced a Berlin man to two and a half years in jail for running down two bicyclists while driving drunk, leaving one of them for dead, then fleeing the scene.

Judge Gerald V. Purnell sentenced Daniel Matthew Bren to 12 months for leaving the scene of an accident, the maximum sentence available, followed by 18 months for negligent manslaughter by automobile.

In Snow Hill District Court early Thursday, Bren wore a suit and a heavy expression. His wrists and ankles were shackled. He had been incarcerated since being found guilty in an April 16 plea agreement.

Bren, 35, called it "one of the deepest, darkest moments of my life."

"There's not a day that goes by that this tragedy is forgotten," he said quietly in the hushed courtroom. "I struggle daily with my own demons. I apologize for my poor choice in judgment. I stand before you today a grateful, recovering alcoholic. I promise to continue working as hard as I can every day. All the good I do this day forward will be in honor of your loved one's family."

According to Maryland State Police, bicyclists Maxim Matuzov, 20, and Edward Joseph Zisk, 41, were heading west on the Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge at about 2:30 a.m. on June 26, 2009. They were struck from behind by Bren's 2006 Chevrolet Silverado.

Police said Bren fled the scene by taking West Ocean City back roads before returning to westbound Route 50. Prosecutors said a taxi driver saw what happened, called police, and followed Bren's pickup truck.

When State Police pulled him over, they found him glassy-eyed and disoriented behind the wheel. He had an open container of beer in the truck. Later, Bren was found to have a blood-alcohol content of .25.

Matuzov, who police said was a Russian student spending the summer in Ocean City, was hospitalized and recovered. Zisk died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Kathleen Zisk, the victim's younger sister, gave a victim impact statement before the judge announced his sentence. She called Bren a "coward" for leaving the scene.

"You made one of the worst choices that night," she said, visibly shaking from head to toe. "Why didn't you take a cab? You didn't even stop. You left my brother Eddie like roadkill. Did you see my brother's face when you hit him?"

Judge Purnell sentenced Bren to 10 years for manslaughter and suspended all but 18 months. Bren's sentence also will be credited with 168 days for time already served while awaiting his sentencing hearing.

When he leaves jail, Bren will serve three years' probation, during which he must wear an electronic device that detects, through sweat, if a person has consumed alcohol.

Purnell ordered Bren to serve 250 hours of alcohol-related community service, including speaking appearances at Worcester County's three high schools. He also must pay $2,486 in restitution for funeral costs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Family Tried To Stop Driver

POCOMOKE CITY -- After friends and family made a late-night attempt to prevent him from driving drunk, police said, Jesse James Mason drove off anyway, dragging a friend who was hanging onto his truck, killing him.

Mason, 24, of Pocomoke City is being held on $100,000 bond after being charged in the death of Hunter Lee Stonnell. Mason was attempting to drive out of a parking lot Friday night, police allege, when Stonnell, who was trying to keep him off the road, was thrown from Mason's vehicle.

In an interview with police, Mason said he "began drinking earlier in the afternoon, before driving with Stonnell to Virginia, where he consumed another five to six beers," according to District Court charging documents.

After returning to his house in Pocomoke City, Mason and his wife became involved in an argument, because she didn't want him to drive, according to court records.

He returned to his vehicle. His wife called Mason's father for help and asked Stonnell to drive her to the parking lot where Mason's car was parked, charging documents say. Arriving at his car, Mason was met by his wife, his father and Stonnell.

When Mason refused to not drive, Stonnell grabbed onto the side of the truck, according to court documents. Mason reportedly told him to "hold on" and began to accelerate out of the parking lot.

Witnesses said the victim was hanging out of the driver's side of Mason's white Ford pickup truck, attempting to prevent him from driving, when he was thrown from the vehicle.

Mason told police he knew Stonnell had to be injured, but continued driving to his home, according to court documents.

Charges against Mason include homicide by motor vehicle, negligent homicide by auto while impaired, negligent manslaughter by auto, negligent auto homicide under the influence of alcohol, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence and related charges. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation that led to the charges.

Mason has two previous alcohol-related charges in Worcester on his court record, including one in February 2006 for possession of an intoxicating beverage under the age of 21 and in September 2006 for possession of an alcoholic beverage under the age of 21. In both cases, he pleaded guilty and paid court-imposed fines.

Stonnell, 21, was born in Oklahoma to parents who made their home in Westover. He graduated from Crisfield High School in 2007 and was working as a heavy equipment operator with the Vulcan Materials Co. in Pocomoke City. He belonged to Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Pocomoke City.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at Bradshaw & Sons Funeral Home in Crisfield.