Friday, June 6, 2008

The Saga of Jose Jesus Vieyra - Part III


The case against Jose Jesus Vieyra dropped after the traffic victim was found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident. What the following article doesn't say what happened to Vieyra otherwise - there was much screaming about his residency status - He was a Mexican citizen who had overstayed his visa. Vieyra had lived in Houston for years - had a family here and a home.

Officials said he would certainly be deported - but was he deported after all?

click for link to previous March 15, 2008 DREAM ACT Texas post on Vieyra Part I and Part II


June 5, 2008, 11:04PM
Deputy's DUI may derail prosecution against truck driver

In accident reconstruction expert for the Harris County Sheriff's Office predicts prosecutors will have a difficult time indicting or convicting the truck driver involved in a crash that killed a sheriff's deputy earlier this year.

Because Harris County sheriff's deputy Craig Miller was intoxicated and is believed to have been speeding, the case against truck driver Jose Jesus Vieyra is not a strong one, said David Pearson, a Sheriff's Office accident investigator who has reconstructed more than 700 crashes during his career.

"I think it will be a difficult case to not only get an indictment on, but also secure a conviction," Pearson said Thursday.

Vieyra, 57, is charged with criminally negligent homicide because he drove his commercial box truck into the path of Miller's car just before the Feb. 21 crash.

Vieyra is now free from the Harris County Jail on a $30,000 bond. Neither he nor his attorney, Yalila "Lee" Guerrero, could be reached for comment Thursday.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office is waiting on additional investigation and information before taking the case to a grand jury for review, said spokeswoman and prosecutor Donna Hawkins.

The accident report has not yet been released by the Sheriff's Office because it is waiting for Pearson's conclusions to be reviewed by another accident reconstruction expert who is not part of the law enforcement agency.

Pearson, an accident reconstructionist for 18 years, concluded both drivers contributed to the crash, which happened on the Katy Freeway feeder road near Mason Road.

Toxicology tests revealed that Miller, 43, had a blood alcohol level three to four times the legal limit, ranging from 0.27 to 0.32, even though he was on duty and driving to an undercover surveillance assignment after being called back to work.

Miller is also believed to have been speeding. Two witnesses estimated he was driving 60 mph — 10 mph over the posted speed limit on the feeder road.

But Pearson believes Miller could not have avoided the truck that pulled into his path even if he had been sober — though he might have lessened the severity of the impact by taking evasive action.

"They still would have had a crash, but probably less severe injuries than what we ended up with," Pearson said. Miller was not wearing a seat belt.

"Because of the alcohol in his system, slower responses, (Miller) did not do any steering or braking to avoid the wreck. If he had, it's possible he would have survived the crash," Pearson said.

Vieyra, however, was wrong to pull out of an auto dealership's parking lot into the path of Miller's car and was criminally negligent by continuing across four lanes of traffic in an effort to reach an entrance ramp to the Katy Freeway, Pearson concluded.

"I do feel that exiting the driveway as Vieyra did in this case does constitute criminal negligence," Pearson said.

Investigators believed the case against Vieyra was quite strong before they learned that Miller was intoxicated at the time of the incident. But Miller's drinking weakened the case, Pearson said.

"I would say because of the alcohol involved in this crash, it makes it a very difficult case," Pearson said.

for link to HC article click here

No comments: