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#1 2008-07-28 21:48:32

From: Austin, TX (Hyde Park)
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 53

Probation given for intoxicated manslaughter of bicyclist V. Hesness

From the July 25, 2008 Austin Chronicle: … oid:648672

Bicyclist Vilhelm Hesness was hit and killed by an SUV last summer as he was riding lawfully on Manchaca Road near FM 1626 in South Austin. The driver who hit him, Richard Alan Lee, was under the influence of five prescription drugs at the time, including sedatives, an antidepressant, and a tranquilizer, according to toxicology reports. He was charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years behind bars. Lee is scheduled for sentencing this Friday, but a plea agreement from Travis Co. prosecutors, which he's likely to accept, has Hesness' friends outraged. According to the county clerk's office, Lee will plead guilty and receive eight years' probation, 200 hours of community service, have his driver's license revoked for one year, and serve 60 days in county jail. "There's no end to the expletives I could expound," said Dale McCormick, a friend and cycling partner of Hesness. "He OD'd on five drugs and killed a man; it might as well have been murder, and he's going to do 60 days? This sends a horrible message. It just says what a cyclist's life is worth: not very much." (For background, see "The Unnecessary Death of Vilhelm Hesness," Nov. 2, 2007.) – Daniel Mottola

Earlier coverage of Vihehlm Hesness' death: … rID=556505



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