DUI Vehicular Manslaughter Trial of Jim Leyritz Continues

According to The Canadian Press, the prosecution rested Wednesday, November 10, in the DUI vehicular manslaughter trial of Jim Leyritz, who is a former major league baseball player. Leyritz played catcher in his 11 season career, and played for the Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Padres, and Dodgers. He is most well-known for his home run in the 1996 World Series while playing for the Yankees. The 2000 season was his last.

Leyritz is accused of driving drunk, running a red light, and crashing into a Mitsubishi Montero driven by Fredia Ann Veitch, who was killed at the scene of the fatal Florida car crash after being thrown from her motor vehicle on December 28, 2007. His blood alcohol content level (BAC) was at 0.14 percent three hours after the accident, and could have been as high as 0.19 percent at the time of the crash, according to testimony given at trial. Florida law prohibits driving over 0.08 percent. Evidence shows that Veitch was also drunk and had a BAC of 0.18 when the accident occurred, and was not wearing a seatbelt.

At trial, a crash reconstruction expert said Leyritz was not speeding into the intersection before the accident. Based on the damages to both vehicles, as well as other factors, the crash expert estimated that Leyritz was going about 35 mph, which is the posted speed limit for the road. Airbags did not deploy in either motor vehicle and there wasn’t any indication that either driver slammed on their brakes to attempt to prevent the Florida car accident. It is unclear whether the vehicle’s lights that Leyritz was driving were on. There is also some question as to whether the light was yellow when Leyritz crossed the intersection.

If convicted, Leyritz faces between four and 15 years in prison. Earlier in 2010, he settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Veitch family. He agreed to pay $250,000 in insurance and $1,000 in monthly payments for 100 months out of his own pocket.

Punishment, including penalties and fines, for driving under the influence of alcohol can be severe. The stakes are even higher if someone dies as a result of the accident. That’s why it is important for anyone charged with a DUI and vehicular manslaughter in California to contact a skilled Los Angeles vehicular manslaughter defense attorney immediately to explore their legal options. The attorney will examine all details of the California car crash and the resulting arrest in order to properly conclude if any of the rights of the defendant were violated.

If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter in Los Angeles, the criminal defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan can help. Call today at 1-866-430-8383 for a free and confidential evaluation of your Los Angeles vehicular manslaughter case.

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