According to recent reports, the testimony of a bartender against a drunk driver accused of murder after he killed three passengers in a car accident may be critical in achieving a conviction.
William Cady, 26, has been charged with three counts of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter. He could face up to 45 years in prison if he is convicted. In his on-going trial, Camilly Berardi, a bartender who witnessed Cady and his passengers before the crash, stated that they were “all visibly wasted” an hour before they drove at a high rate of speed onto a freeway transition ramp and crashed. Berardi stated that she offered to call a cab to take the men safely home, but they refused. She stated she vaguely remembered that Cady said, “It’s my car and they will go where I take them” when offered the car service.
Investigators found that after the accident, Cady’s blood-alcohol content was between .13 and .19 percent. He also tested positive for marijuana in his system. Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey stated that “alcohol, marijuana and a reckless, dangerous and aggressive attitude are a very dangerous combination.”
Another key witness, Trevor Rodgers, a surviving passenger, said that Cady was going too fast and laughed while he sped up, despite all five passengers asking him to slow down. He quickly lost control of his SUV on the transition ramp from northbound Interstate 805 to westbound state Route 52. The SUV flipped at least five times and four of his passengers were ejected. Passengers Taylor Bednarski, 29, and Shon Gilliam, 23, died at the scene. Another passenger, Jeffery Becker, 35, died shortly after help arrived.
After hearing testimony from first responders, family members in the chamber were openly weeping and two stormed out of the courtroom because they were so upset.
Sadly, drunk driving accidents are common and often result in criminal charges. Drunk drivers can face serious penalties when they commit the crime of driving while under the influence, including imprisonment and fines. However, a criminal conviction does not reimburse the victims for their losses.
While criminal cases are handled by the criminal court system, as the victim of a drunk driver you may also have the right to bring a second case in civil court, even if the defendant escapes conviction. The burden of proof is different in criminal court than in civil court, meaning that you and your attorney may have a better chance of proving negligence and fault than the district attorney has of securing a criminal conviction.
If you are facing life after being injured by a drunk driver, call the team at the Gilleon Law Firm, APC today and let us help you seek compensation for your injuries.