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#1 2021-09-26 20:48:56

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,315
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What does it take to be charged with killing a non-driver? Being black

Regular members know that I've long bemoaned the lack of penalties for at-fault drivers who kill cyclists and pedestrians.  It was the main part of my activist journalism starting in 1996.

Well, recently an at-fault driver was charged with killing a scooter-rider.  At first I thought this might signal a change of culture, then I realized that the driver is black.

It reminds me of an opposite case in the 90s, when I opened my radio show with, "What does it take for a cyclist to have his aggressor charged with reckless driving?  If recent events are any indication, it takes being local cycling celebrity Lance Armstrong."  His aggressor got charged.

Anyway, reading a little further into the recent case, while the driver was charged, she was charged with DWI.  She wasn't charged with killing the cyclist.  Maybe that's coming, but so far, no.

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/driver … ral-austin

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#2 2021-09-26 22:56:53

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 582

Re: What does it take to be charged with killing a non-driver? Being black

I was just looking into Lance's aggressor -- he wasn't just charged -- he was convicted, got 10 years.

Strangely enough, the court gave 10 years for the celebrity, and one year for the non-celebrity, even though both cyclists were assaulted in the same way at the same time --

Carter was convicted of felony aggravated assault on Armstrong, for which he was given the 10-year sentence, and misdemeanor deadly conduct against cyclist David Averill, for which he was given the one-year sentence.

(no idea how "10+1=10" -- served simultaneously? -- but whatever.)

I was looking that up in relation to this recent incident --

WALLER, Texas - A group of Houston area cyclists are hospitalized after getting hit by a pickup truck in Waller County Saturday morning.

According [sic] the Waller County Sheriff, 6 cyclists were hit by the vehicle along old 290, roughly 2 miles west of Waller.  In total, four of the cyclists had to be taken to area hospitals, including 2 by helicopter.

The driver had apparently just "rolled coal" on another group of cyclists and was trying to do it to this group too, but I guess got too close and actually hit them?

Either way, the 16-year-old driver has not been arrested.

I do hope some of those cyclists had video running -- video of him intentionally "rolling coal" at them might be what it takes to get the State of Texas to treat it like the "aggravated assault with a deadly weapon", second-degree felony, that they should.

(You'd think the witness reports of his actions should be enough, but ... seemingly not.)

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#3 2021-09-27 17:44:59

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 322

Re: What does it take to be charged with killing a non-driver? Being black

dougmc wrote:

I was just looking into Lance's aggressor -- he wasn't just charged -- he was convicted, got 10 years.

Strangely enough, the court gave 10 years for the celebrity, and one year for the non-celebrity, even though both cyclists were assaulted in the same way at the same time --

Carter was convicted of felony aggravated assault on Armstrong, for which he was given the 10-year sentence, and misdemeanor deadly conduct against cyclist David Averill, for which he was given the one-year sentence.

Apparently the driver's one act that affected two different people got a different charge for each affected person based on the consequences of the act, if this story gives the pertinent details.
(Armstrong crashed, Avril changed course)
(10 years in prison (presumably for the felony); 1 year in county jail (presumably for the misdemeanor))

**
The Associated Press

AUSTIN (AP) - The driver of a pickup truck convicted of trying to run down world bicycle racing champion Lance Armstrong and another rider has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a year in county jail.

Carl Michael Carter II, 37, was sentenced Thursday following a day of testimony in which jurors heard how he has had an unpredictable and often violent temper that he unleashed on his previous wives, his children and most recently, two strangers biking on a country road.

A judge will decide Feb. 18 whether the sentences will be served one after the other or at the same time.

Carter was convicted of felony aggravated assault on Armstrong, for which he was given the 10-year sentence, and misdemeanor deadly conduct against cyclist David Averill, for which he was given the one-year sentence.

Armstrong and Averill testified that they were riding side by side on a road in western Travis County on March 31, 1998, when Carter's pickup truck sped by within inches of Averill's shoulder.

The cyclists made an obscene gesture at Carter, whose pickup then screeched to a halt in the middle of the road, according to their testimony. Carter and the cyclists got into an argument, which they said led to Carter speeding off, making a U-turn and driving at them.

*Averill rode up a driveway. Armstrong steered his bike into a ditch, flipping end over end and landing on his back.* A telephone repairman who witnessed the incident testified that he believed Carter would run over the bicyclist.
**

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#4 2021-09-27 22:37:50

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,315
Website

Re: What does it take to be charged with killing a non-driver? Being black

Here's my coverage from 23 years ago.

Damn I'm old.

Motorists frequently face no consequences for injuring or killing cyclists in Austin. What does it take for a cyclist to get action taken against a hostile motorist? Well, if recent news is any indication, it takes being local sports cycling celebrity Lance Armstrong.

In a front page story [Dec. 15, 1998], the Austin American-Statesman reported that Michael Carter ran Armstrong and two cycling buddies off Volente Road near Lake Travis. After buzzing the cyclists with his car, the cyclists yelled at him. Carter then made a U-turn and aimed his car straight at them, throwing Armstrong head-first over his handlebars to avoid being hit.

That same day, Carter was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the attack. At the request of Carter's lawyer, the judge lowered his bail from $300,000 to $30,000, angering both cyclists and women's rights advocates. (Carter posted bail and was released from jail.)

Why were women's advocates upset? Well you see, when Carter attacked the cyclists, he was out on bail awaiting a trial for tying up, beating, and raping his wife. In September, he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years for that crime, but he is out while awaiting an appeal. Having a hard time following this story? Let's back up and start from the beginning.

In 1996, Carter was charged with punching his 6-year-old daughter in the face. In 1997, he was charged with assaulting his wife. He got out on bail while awaiting that trial. While he was out on bail, he attacked the cyclists in March 1998. In September, he was convicted of assaulting his wife and sentenced to 10 years in jail. The judge approved an $80,000 appeals bond for that case, and a $30,000 bond for attacking the cyclists. Carter posted both bonds, and returned to roaming the roads with impunity, while awaiting his appeal for assaulting his wife, and his trial for attacking the cyclists.

The judge's decision to let the convicted rapist go was certainly controversial. Check out how the judge downplays the seriousness of Carter's attack on the cyclists. Regarding the attack, District Judge Jon Wisser said, "No one was actually injured in the incident. In the scheme of things around here, it was not as serious an offense." Hmm. Well, if Judge Wisser really feels that way, we'd like to see him get his ass on a bike and ride around Austin and see how he feels when some lunatic runs him off the road with a deadly weapon.

Consequence to the motorist: Surprisingly, Carter was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attack, marking the first time we know of that a motorist in Austin has faced punishment for harming or threatening a cyclist. Let's see if this ever happens again when the cyclist doesn't happen to be a celebrated local hero.

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