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Heatley Charged with vehicular homicide

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Old
10-06-2003, 07:21 PM
  #26
mmbt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Van
It is nothing but pure bull**** that Heatley is charged with 1st degree vehicular homicide...another word for murder. I don't think even a Georgia jury would be dumb enough to convict Heatley for murder in this case.

The charge should be vehicular manslaughter.
I don't think even a Georgia jury is dumb enough to read the word "homicide," and decide to acquit on that basis alone. If you read the law as opposed to just having some knee-jerk reaction to the term homicide, you'll see that the description fits the crime.

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10-06-2003, 07:27 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Van
It is nothing but pure bull**** that Heatley is charged with 1st degree vehicular homicide...another word for murder. I don't think even a Georgia jury would be dumb enough to convict Heatley for murder in this case.

The charge should be vehicular manslaughter.
Each state has a different way of defining various criminal charges. The difference between vehicular manslaughter and homicide in GA may be the degree of recklessness involved rather than the intent. In any case, Heatley's case has to go before a Grand Jury before the charges are finalized. This is simply what the DA thinks they can convict Healtey on at this time.

Another problem for Heatley is that if he is convicted of a felony, he will probably not be able to travel to Canada to play hockey.

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10-06-2003, 07:27 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsfan
I totally agree. Murder denotes intent, and that certainly was not the case here.
I believe "intent" is a big part of law (I don't know jack about Law)... but I'm pretty sure that Heatley DID NOT INTEND to kill Snyder.

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10-06-2003, 07:29 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Ironchef Chris Wok
I believe "intent" is a big part of law (I don't know jack about Law)... but I'm pretty sure that Heatley DID NOT INTEND to kill Snyder.
that's EXACTLY what I was saying.

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10-06-2003, 07:32 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Brooklyn Ranger
Another problem for Heatley is that if he is convicted of a felony, he will probably not be able to travel to Canada to play hockey.
Actually, as a Canadian working in the US on an American team, I beleive this could effect his work visa and he would have difficulties playing in the US.

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10-06-2003, 07:44 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by kingsfan
Actually, as a Canadian working in the US on an American team, I beleive this could effect his work visa and he would have difficulties playing in the US.
Yes, right after I posted that, I realized that Heatley was Canadian. If anything that's worse, since the USA has cracked down on people living/wprking in the USA who have been convicted of a crime here--generally, they are deported when their sentence is over.

It's going to be a very tough road back for Heatley and honestly, I have very little sympathy for him because he was reckless, not only with his own life, but with another person's life.

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10-06-2003, 07:58 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weight39
That's what is wrong with America's so-called "legal system". A slap on the wrists for atheltes,movie stars,t.v. stars, & rock/hip-hop stars. It never sends a message to the others.
Had this been 2 normal guys in a honda civic you wouldnt give a flying ****. Everyone needs to take a breath and just look at what happened.

Bad Decisions were made
Things happened
People were hurt, Families torn.

It was a mistake, one that I garuntee he has already felt the effects of. That doesnt go to say he shouldnt be punished, but to automatically give him 15 years for "knowing its a ferrari and a windy road" is the reason that fools like you arent in the legal system. Just think for a second and put yourself in Dany's shoes.

Unfortunately, people like you have to experience this before you can truely understand it. I lost 2 friends in a car accident similar to this, minus the winding road and ferrari. Does that make it any different? No, someone made a bad mistake.

It doesnt send the message? Oh yes, it does. Those peoples CAREERS are destroyed by 1 mistake, something that can never be fixed.

edit: Probably a rehash, but it must be said.

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Old
10-06-2003, 08:13 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooklyn Ranger
Another problem for Heatley is that if he is convicted of a felony, he will probably not be able to travel to Canada to play hockey.
Felony vehicular homicide is considered a crime of violence (i.e.aggravated felony under US Federal law) for immigration purposes. Under the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act persons convicted of aggravated felonies are subject to deportation with no judicical review. The INS is in court at this time arguing that a
state court's misdemeanor conviction of vehicular homicide is grounds for automatic deportation based on their opinion that it would be a felony under federal law. I thought deportation an unlikely outcome until yesterday's tragic event. Now it's a very real possibility.

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10-06-2003, 08:31 PM
  #34
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Is there a professional lawyer posting here that could actually shed some light for us on this "vehicular homicide" accusation and the best/worst case scenario for Heatley as of now?

Will he get a minimum of 3 years if convicted even if he pleads guilty?

Will he get kicked out of the US?

Does Heatley stand a reasonable chance to work out a deal to reduce the accusation to vehicular manslaughter?

I'm very confused about the technicalities of this case.

Any WELL INFORMED help would be greatly appreciated.

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10-07-2003, 06:29 AM
  #35
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Not a lawyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchausen
Is there a professional lawyer posting here that could actually shed some light for us on this "vehicular homicide" accusation and the best/worst case scenario for Heatley as of now?

Will he get a minimum of 3 years if convicted even if he pleads guilty?

Will he get kicked out of the US?

Does Heatley stand a reasonable chance to work out a deal to reduce the accusation to vehicular manslaughter?

I'm very confused about the technicalities of this case.

Any WELL INFORMED help would be greatly appreciated.
According the DA the average sentence for a Vehicular Homicide charge is 7 years in Georgia. But, the DA and Heatly's attorney could work a deal to plead guilty to MAN-2 which would mean no jail time. According to the DA in the paper most of the 7 year sentences were given to people where alcohol was involved, and it looks like in this case there wasn't. You can get a Homicide charge based on RECKLESS DRIVING but the Judge may give him a lighter sentence due to the facts in the case. According to the DA in the Atlanta Paper a lot depends on what happened in the car. Did Heatly just lose control or did he swerve to avoid something or did the accelorator stick or did something else happen? According to one DA getting a jury of peers to put Heatly in jail for an "accident" that didn't involve alcohol would be difficult. He thinks Heatly will be able to work a deal for MAN-2 and get parole.
A guy I knew in highschool was racing his car on the interstate in Atlanta one night. He lost control and swerved into the emergency lane where a father and mother were changing a flat tire. They had put their 2 boys on the hill just in case. Well, he ran into the car and killed both the parents. There was no alcohol involved just too much speed and stupidity. He was guilty of Vehicular Homicide and was given 15 years. He served about 2 years and was out on parole. But the facts in the case were even worse than Heatly's so I think Heatly will avoid prison. Most legal experts think the same. MAN-2 with parole and no jail time.

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Old
10-07-2003, 06:49 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Jim
According the DA the average sentence for a Vehicular Homicide charge is 7 years in Georgia. But, the DA and Heatly's attorney could work a deal to plead guilty to MAN-2 which would mean no jail time. According to the DA in the paper most of the 7 year sentences were given to people where alcohol was involved, and it looks like in this case there wasn't. You can get a Homicide charge based on RECKLESS DRIVING but the Judge may give him a lighter sentence due to the facts in the case. According to the DA in the Atlanta Paper a lot depends on what happened in the car. Did Heatly just lose control or did he swerve to avoid something or did the accelorator stick or did something else happen? According to one DA getting a jury of peers to put Heatly in jail for an "accident" that didn't involve alcohol would be difficult. He thinks Heatly will be able to work a deal for MAN-2 and get parole.
I don't have much of a background in criminal law, but everything you state here makes a lot of sense. People have been talking about the Heatley serving between 3-15 years, and it just didn't make any sense. Heatley has made a mistake, and will have to pay the consequences as laid out by the legal system, but there are a lot of factors in his case that will work in his favour:
-It doesn't seem like alcohol was involved
-The life that was lost was that of a friend and team-mate. I imagine the penalty is harsher when the person who dies is a stranger to the accussed, like the couple in the example you have listed. In this case, the loss and mental impact is a harsh punishment as it is. Other legal ramifications will need to be applied, but if he didn't suffer any legal consequences, it's not like he would ever look back at this incident as a minor inconvenience.
-Heatley has a clean record. He doesn't seem to have any dealings with the law before this.
-Heatley will not be a threat to society. Before this incident, he was a dangerous risk on the road, but I can't see him taking similar actions again in the future. Society will not be any safer with him behind bars
-Snyder's family has not made any comments about the charges, but I do not see them pushing for a maximum sentence. If the family of the victim is not pushing for this, I imagine it's harder to prosecute.

Now, I'm making a lot of assumptions here based on the limited knowledge we have of Heatley. It is possible that he is a real a**hole, that has little remorse and will be speeding again the second he gets a new car. If that's the case, a lot of these assumptions get thrown out the window, however, I think it's unlikely.

Another factor that will probably help Heatley's chances is the political nature of the legal system in the U.S. Many positions within the legal system are elected officials, which means that there is always the publicity aspect to consider. These officials will not likely gain any political points by having this case draw out at great length. They will probably be pushing for Heatley to plea bargain to a lesser sentence, and to get this case out of the media headlines.

All in all though, we have to let the judicial system play out. It has its flaws, but it's in place for a reason.

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Old
10-07-2003, 07:17 AM
  #37
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It's very simple. This is a legal game now. DA brings charges of Vehicular Homicide, because he wants Heatley to be convicted of Vehicular Manslaughter (at a minimum). So, he trumps up the charges, knowing a good lawyer will get Heatley to plead to Manslaughter... the rest is up to the judge.

If he were to charge Vehicular Manslaughter from the onset, Heatley's lawyer might find a way to plead to a lesser charge, and get the jury to go along with it.

Even so, I doubt a jury will have much impact on this case. It will be settled almost right away I imagine, the only decision left will be the judge's (the sentencing).

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10-07-2003, 07:59 AM
  #38
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My first instinct is that nothing good can come from throwing him in jail, apart from satisfying the bloodthirst of those who like to see people thrown in jail. I don't see the purpose of ruining another life. This horrible accident has already done enough damage. Heatly will have to live with this for the rest of his life.

Have him do a lot of community service, working with kids. I take for granted that Heatly will donate to whatever charity fund the Snyder family wants to set up. Heatly is in a unique position that he is a well known person and the accident is a well known story. Use that to talk some sense into other kids that are just starting to drive.

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10-07-2003, 08:41 AM
  #39
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Heatly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian
My first instinct is that nothing good can come from throwing him in jail, apart from satisfying the bloodthirst of those who like to see people thrown in jail. I don't see the purpose of ruining another life. This horrible accident has already done enough damage. Heatly will have to live with this for the rest of his life.

Have him do a lot of community service, working with kids. I take for granted that Heatly will donate to whatever charity fund the Snyder family wants to set up. Heatly is in a unique position that he is a well known person and the accident is a well known story. Use that to talk some sense into other kids that are just starting to drive.
In a weird sort of way the Snyder's can help Dany Heatly out a lot. And I don't mean just legal issues or whether or not they sue him. Having kids myself I can't even go there myself but to forgve Heatly would be huge for his recovery. Man, the emotions involved in that would be extreme. Meanwhile the Thrashers have a game on Thursday - a Funeral on Friday - Healty has been granted permission to go to that - and then a game on Saturday. The Snyder's have already spoken to the team about moving forward with the season. Saying Dan would want that. Man oh man.....how does Heatly rejoin the team after all this? I beginning to think he won't be able to play for Atlanta.

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10-07-2003, 08:51 AM
  #40
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If anything else, I hope Dany Heatley gets psychological counselling because he's going to need it.

As for punishment, my opinion doesn't matter: just the state of Georgia justice system and God.

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10-07-2003, 09:59 AM
  #41
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?id=56399

The Judge has allowed Heatley to attend Synder's funeral.

As well, for the Canandian viewers, Heatley's attorney will be on TSN's Thats Hockey tonight at 7 pm ET.

Quote:
Attorney Ed Garland says Heatley is "an emotional wreck" after Snyder's death.

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10-07-2003, 10:01 AM
  #42
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Can't Snyder's parents decide whether or not they want charges filed?

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10-07-2003, 10:18 AM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draft Guru
Can't Snyder's parents decide whether or not they want charges filed?
No, this is something that is up to the prosecutors. If there is going to be a plea bargain(which I am certain there will be), the DA will likely contact the Snyder family before accepting it. Alcohol not being a factor will also be a mitigating factor, as well as the fact that it was a one car accident.

Georgia, and especially the wealthy northern suburbs of Atlanta, has recently had an epidemic of young drivers getting killed. Community service and talking to kids about reckless driving is something which could benefit this region much more than locking Dany away for any period of time.

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10-07-2003, 10:52 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Brooklyn Ranger

It's going to be a very tough road back for Heatley and honestly, I have very little sympathy for him because he was reckless, not only with his own life, but with another person's life.
My sentiments exactly.

 
Old
10-07-2003, 11:01 AM
  #45
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This is such a messed up situation. I firmly believe that Heatley does not deserve to go to jail, and should not be deported. It will not help anyone to destroy yet another young man's life from this one blink of the eye stupid descision. To me it is pretty scary because as an 18 yr old, I have been in the situation many times before where the driver is going well above the speed limit and any mistake could lead to a tragic accident, but as the passenger I am usually just enjoying the ride and getting an adrenaline rush from it, as I assume Snyder was probably doing. Personally I accept any risks and I wouldnt hold the driver responsible if tragidy struck because I was enjoying the rush and I was almost encouraging it. What happened in this case was a horrible break.

I remember a few years back in my freshman year of high school our school had an assembly where a few alcoholics in prison came to speak to us. The most moving account was from a guy about 25 years old who told us about his life story. He told us where he grew up and how his family was wealthy,and his backround seemed really identical to ours. Well a few years back this guy got insanely drunk and blacked out. Then he got in his car and wound up driving on the wrong side of the Turnpike. He hit an oncoming car and killed another young man. He was devastated and charged with manslaughter. His life was ruined, he went to maximum security prison, and he told us that every night since he stays up at night and prays and wishes that it could have been him who died and the other young man who lived. He said that the hardest thing he had to do was to confront the parents of the kid he killed. To his shock the parent embraced him, forgave him on the spot, and wound up pressing the prosecution to allow for his freedom and acquittal. They thought that it would be a waste of humanity to ruin another young man's life in what already was a disaster. The man then told us he was up for parole in a couple of months.

This story just reminded me of the present situation with Heatley. Obviously Healtey was not nearly as reckless as the other guy, but none-the-less he is in trouble. I also read somewhere that Snyder's father had forgiven Heatley and re-iterated that another man's life shouldnt be wasted from this. My hope is that the prosecution and the jury sees this and lets Heatley off from prison and deportation, and orders him to do something that could help the community. Like others have posted, Heatley is much more valuable teaching others and serving as a model then behind bars.

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10-07-2003, 11:02 AM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkBlue
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?id=56399

The Judge has allowed Heatley to attend Synder's funeral.
What a rotten situation for everyone involved - Dan Snyder's parents, Dany Heatley, and the Thrashers players & coaches. Just plain awful. The funeral is going to be very tough on everyone.

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10-07-2003, 01:04 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by Van
I don't think even a Georgia jury would be dumb enough to convict Heatley for murder in this case.
As opposed to what, a brilliant British Columbian jury? Give me a break...

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10-07-2003, 01:12 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolut
What a rotten situation for everyone involved - Dan Snyder's parents, Dany Heatley, and the Thrashers players & coaches. Just plain awful. The funeral is going to be very tough on everyone.
I just hope for the Snyder family's sake that it doesn't turn into a circus. Elmira is a small town and I suspect TSN, Sportsnet, etc. will be there, the Thrashers, as well as assorted other AHL/NHLer's (depending on schedules).

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Old
10-07-2003, 01:20 PM
  #49
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Even if he was just a regular Joe, given his age and lack of record, he would never get the maximum.
I wonder how many of these "law and order" types are taxpayers? It costs $24,000-32,000 a year to house an inmate. Should we raise taxes and/or cut services (education, health care, infrastructure etc) so we can throw the book at everyone? Many new prisons would have to be built and staffed. I think the public has already made that choice on who they elect. It's a matter of priorities, and locking up someone who isn't a threat to society isn't one.

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10-07-2003, 01:35 PM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weight39
Good, I hope Healtey gets the maximum!! I don't care what people say, "Oh,it's bad enough that Synder passed away", WAKE THE ****** UP!!!!! Healtey should be punished for his actions. He KNEW that the car could haul major ass,it's a Ferrari for God's sake!!!! At least wait until you're alone if you want to cash in on your death wish!! He is NOT a little kid;he knew that speed can kill. My thoughts & prayers go out to Synder's family & friends. (Throw the book at Heatley). No special treatment just b/c he's a professional athlete.
Well I'm glad that you've never done ANYTHING wrong in your life.

Are you old enough to drive a car, or are you riding on a bike?

If you are old enough to drive a car, you should realize (obviously don't however) that mistakes happen when driving. Should a driver of a car be sent away for 15 years every time that someone tragically dies in a car accident when someone was speeding? I'm not going to speak for anyone else, but EVERY time I get in the car I go faster than the speed limit, and I'm a very conservative driver. I don't do 80 in a residential neighborhood, but the theory is the same.

My viewpoint is based on the the driver not being impaired through drugs or alchohol, and I'm not saying that Heatley should not get some sort of jailtime. I just don't think that Heatley should get the maximum time for what practically every person does to some extent.

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