By Aryal Aglugub
STANISLAUS, CA – This week, in a Stanislaus County Superior Court preliminary hearing, Larry Boyd faced the repercussions from an alleged drinking and driving incident that resulted in a tragic death.
On Feb. 14, 2019, Boyd was driving under the influence with a passenger in the car. On the way to their destination, a pickup truck had stopped in the middle of the road. Boyd collided with the truck, injuring himself and resulting in the death of the passenger.
The defense argued it is not disputing the driving under the influence/DUI charge, but that there is a third element of gross negligence missing, meaning that this was a case of simple negligence.
Additionally, the defense argued that if the pickup truck was not obstructing the street, this event never would have occurred.
The prosecution asked the court to charge Boyd with a count of gross vehicular manslaughter, and argued there were many factors proving Boyd was driving unsafely and speeding,
“He was under the influence, he was more than twice the legal limit, there was an obstruction on the roadway, it was dark, and he had a prior conviction of a DUI.”
Judge Shawn Bessey concluded that Boyd would not be charged with gross negligence.
He said he took into account that the pickup truck was a hazard, and that no speed would be safe under that circumstance, and therefore Boyd was not speeding when the accident occurred.
Another argument Judge Bessey made was that in order for Boyd to be charged with gross negligence, he must have been under the influence as well as violate a vehicle section. Judge Bessey did not agree Boyd was speeding, therefore there was no third element to prove that this was a case of gross negligence.
In the end, Judge Bessey charged Boyd with a count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, driving under the influence, and driving under the influence in addition to creating physical harm, and the matter will go to trial.