Tweets Lead to Speeder’s Manslaughter Charge Being Upped to MurderBy: Josh Wolford - August 16, 2013
An 18-year-old Pleasanton, California man who has been charged with vehicular homicide will see that change upped to murder based on a series of tweets.
Cody Hall was charged earlier this week in the death of 58-year-old Diana Hersevoort. According to police, Hall struck Hersevoort and her husband with his car while they were cycling. Apparently, Hall was going over 80 mph in a 40 mph zone. Diana was killed, and her husband broke his arm.
He appeared in court on Wednesday to face new charges of murder – a charge that will be bolstered by his tweet history. You see, it seems that Hall has a history of driving fast and recklessly, and then posting about it on Twitter.
Hall’s Twitter account is protected, but Pleasanton Patch reports that in the past, Hall had tweeted about driving 140 mph and had retweeted such tweets as “drive fast, live young.” He also tweeted a suggestion that “someone come on a death ride with me.”
Not only that, but he reportedly used Twitter to post photos of his speedometer registering high speeds, referring to his car as a “death trap.”
According to the AP, the tweets will be entered in as part of a “pre-offense statement,” which is used to aid prosecutors in proving malice. Of course, increasing a charge from vehicular manslaughter to murder usually involves evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved, or that the incident happened in concurrence with another crime. The use of tweets to prove a pattern of speeding and/or reckless driving has to be a new one, however.
Generally, tweeting about any sort of illegal behavior is just a bad idea. I mean, speeding all the time and endangering the lives of others is also a terrible idea – but tweeting about it takes it to a whole other level.