ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
From The Register-Guard’s Karen McCowan, we have this report of the sentencing yesterday of James Robert Gleich, the motorist who hit and killed Mingo Pelkey as she was riding her bike on River Road about a year ago. I recommend that you read it.
McCowan reports that Gleich agreed to a deal with prosecutors that dropped a manslaughter charge and had him plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide, which is:
Oregon Revised Statutes 163.145: Criminally negligent homicide
(1) A person commits the crime of criminally negligent homicide when, with criminal negligence, the person causes the death of another person.
(2) Criminally negligent homicide is a Class B felony. [1971 c.743 §91; 2003 c.815 §2]
Way back a year ago, the occasional commenter Skinner City Cyclist (haven’t heard from him for a while; you out there Skinner?) predicted there would be “something less than a six-month sentence.” He wasn’t far off.
Here is what McCowan reports on the plea deal:
Prosecutor Dave Hopkins said the state agreed to the plea deal because it was not confident that it could prove Gleich was engaged in criminal behavior when he hit Pelkey. Witnesses said Gleich had engaged in “a short period of very bad driving” just before the crash, including jockeying around other vehicles at a light and accelerating in the right lane to get around a driver in the left lane, Hopkins said.
The witnesses saw no evasive action by Gleich and no brake lights indicating that he had tried to stop his Volkswagen Passat before striking Pelkey, but his estimated speed at the time of impact was not sufficient to support criminal charges, the prosecutor said.
I don’t quite understand the “criminal behavior” part. I guess they mean whatever standard of proof is required for manslaughter.
But the part about the “estimated speed” not being “sufficient” is interesting, if a little depressing. I mean, his speed was sufficient to kill someone.
Thoughts on the sentence?
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For a list of all posts about the Mingo Pelkey case, go here.