Skip to comments.Teenagers to serve time - after football
Posted on 08/16/2006 10:04:23 AM PDT by flutters
Kenton athletes caused wreck that seriously injured 2 others; judge delays 60-day sentences
KENTON, Ohio Two teenagers who pulled a stunt last winter that left a man physically disabled and his friend brain-damaged will each spend 60 days in juvenile detention, but not before they finish the upcoming high-school football season.
Judge Gary F. McKinley told a standing-room-only crowd in his courtroom yesterday that he knows his decision to allow standout Kenton High School athletes Dailyn Campbell, 16, and Jesse Howard, 17, to play sports before serving their sentences will be unpopular.
Five deputies were on hand during the sentencing hearing in Hardin County Common Pleas Court, and McKinley told the emotional crowd that he would hold anyone who had an outburst in contempt.
"Im cutting you somewhat of a break here, and the court will get criticized for this," McKinley told Campbell.
The retired Union County juvenile court judge assigned to hear the cases said he had waffled when trying to decide whether to delay any sentence until after football season.
"I shouldnt even be doing this," he told Campbell, a junior quarterback for the Kenton Wildcats, who won state titles in 2001 and 2002.
At those words, more than a dozen relatives of the two who were injured in the prank began to sob. Campbells mother and stepfather, sitting behind the victims families, looked relieved.
Campbell and Howard each pleaded no contest last month to two charges of vehicular vandalism. They both also pleaded to juvenile-delinquency counts of petty theft and possession of criminal tools. Prosecutors say Campbell and Howard and three others who are awaiting trial stole a decoy deer last November, painted it with obscenities and then placed it in the middle of a darkened rural road to see what would happen when drivers approached.
Robert Roby Jr., who was 18 at the time, swerved to miss the deer. His car rolled and crashed as Campbell and the other boys watched.
Both victims families pleaded with the judge to make an example of Campbell and Howard.
"None of these guys will ever know what our sons have gone through," Robys mother, Mary, wrote to the court. "They dont think they did anything wrong. If they get nothing for what theyve done, theyll do something worse later. They need more than a slap on the wrist."
Roby nearly lost his right leg in the crash, and is facing his 11th surgery in the next few weeks, his mother said yesterday.
Robert Robys passenger, 17-year-old Dustin Zachariah, was on life support for several days and had broken bones, two collapsed lungs and brain damage. He now has the cognitive ability of a sixth-grader, his mother, Kathy Piper, said.
In addition to the 60-day sentence, which will begin at the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center after football season, Campbell and Howard are on house arrest and will be for six months after detention; must pay fines and restitution; must write a 500-word essay on "Why I should think before I act"; and must complete 1,500 and 500 hours of community service, respectively.
McKinley suspended two, one-year terms of commitment to the Ohio Department of Youth Services for both boys, so if they violate their probation those sentences could be invoked.
Campbell was sentenced first. The victims families left the courtroom before Howard was sentenced.
"They said they would not attend this hearing as their own way of showing protest to the previous ruling," Prosecutor Brad Bailey told McKinley. Piper had the victims advocate read a statement, saying that the judges ruling told her "that my son now is not only being pushed aside, but hes been forgotten."
During their hearings, Campbell and Howard apologized. Campbell, who had two previous juvenile court convictions, showed no emotion and looked only at the judge. During Campbells apology, McKinley admonished him for mumbling.
Howard looked into the face of the victims advocate as she read the families statements. He wiped tears from his cheeks as he said he was sorry.
"I think every day that I hurt someone, and that hurts me inside," Howard said.
Swerving to avoid a deer at high speed IS reckless and is something that was always specifically warned against in drivers training classes when I grew up, and I grew up only a couple hours from the area in which this happened.
There are a lot of accidents involving deer, but the vast majority of them aren't because the deer was just standing in the road, they happen because the deer jumps out on the road in front of the car too close for the driver to avoid it.
I've been in a car that has struck a deer on a couple occasions, fortunately in neither case was the car badly damaged.
My wife hit a deer when she was young and almost totaled her parents car.
While I've never actually hit a deer, I have been hit by one. I saw the deer running through the field and slowed down, and the deer ran into the side of my car leaving a noticeable dent. It stunned the deer, but it got up and ran off.
Swerving to avoid what appears to be a full-sized deer in the road is not what I would call "driving recklessly", given that they could have been killed had they hit a real deer.
A fake deer placed on the road doesn't jump out at you. They shouldn't have had to swerve while traveling at a high enough rate of speed to roll the car in order to avoid it because they should have been able to see it in time to either stop, or at worst hit it at a low speed because they couldn't quite stop.
We have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, knowing they could have hit that decoy with little damage.
What if they swerved into the other lane to avoid the deer and hit an oncoming car?
Even by your numbers, in the collisions with deer that were serious enough to be reported (which from my personal experience is a small portion of them), 150 people were killed in 500,000 accidents. Even assuming that there were not a significant number of multiple fatalities, that 0.03% of the accidents that were reported that had a fatality.
The fact that the driver was only 18 and lost control of the car in no way mitigates the fact that he attempted to do the correct thing.
I agree that their age is not relevant.
However, they were not in control of their vehicle as required by law. They were driving too fast or not paying close enough attention, or a combination of both.
While the accident wouldn't have likely happened if the "pranksters" didn't negligently place the decoy on the road, it also would not have happened if the driver was in proper control of his vehicle.
The "pranksters" had no business putting that decoy on the road.
The driver is required by law to maintain the ability to stop or at least avoid such obstacles on the road safely.
Live animals sometimes jump out in front of vehicles with little or no warning making avoiding them impossible. This was a stationary object.
Even if it were a live deer, and it jumped out in front of the driver too close for the driver to be able to stop, swerving off the road at a high rate of speed is extremely foolish. Hit the stupid deer.
As for those 150 car-deer collisions that were fatal, I suspect that a large percentages of the fatalities were not because the impact with the deer caused a fatal injury, or that the impact forced the car off the road or into another vehicle. I suspect that they were the result of the driver swerving in an attempt to miss the deer.
Solidly hitting a deer can do a lot of damage to sheet metal but unless your vehicle is low to the ground or you hit them mid jump, the grill will take the worst of it and they won't come through the windshield. If they don't come through the windshield or obscure your view of the road, you should be able to keep your car in your lane until you stop and avoid hitting other cars or going off the road and hitting a stationary object or rolling the car.
It's not hitting the car deer itself that kills people, it's losing control of their vehicle out of surprise and hitting something else.
Unless you are going slow enough to safely go around an animal on the road in a controlled manner, you should never swerve out of your lane to avoid it. Doing so puts yourself and others at serious risk, and since you can't predict what the animal is going to do you really can't determine if swerving would avoid it anyway until it's too late.
Or if they sign a letter of intent to play for the University of Michigan, whichever comes first.
These two have prior convictions for juvenial offences and have just been told that punishment for their current offenses is less important than football. Their future, at best, may consist of a couple of years at a Division II college, leaving without a degree, and most likely hard time in a penitentary for some future crime committed as some future date.
There's no point in ruining their futures.
And what kind of future did they leave the injured passenger as a result of their stunt. You can blame the driver and call him reckless but the long and short of it is had they not pulled their stunt the passenger would not have been injured and had his future destroyed. You have no sympathy for him but plenty for the jerks who did it to him. Putting an obstruction in the road just to see what happens in criminal, not irresponsible. At the very least these two should never be near the high school football team for their prior offenses alone, not to mention their current criminal acts.
The kids need to take responsibility for what they did, but they don't deserve to have the responsibility for mistakes of the driver layered on top of them that were not reasonably foreseeable.
Maybe they can sue the driver for what happened to them? </sarcasm>
"The judge must have thought that the sentence would have punished the innocent team members and fans of the football team by not allowing him to play. This may have wrecked their season if he wasn't able to play if needed."
And the next time someone came up with a stupid idea, EVERYONE would tackle that person and hold them down until they'd had time to THINK about last time...
It is apparent there is no justice at all, in that court, at any rate.
What they did was wrong, and they deserve to be punished.
They are responsible for their actions, and they should be held accountable for them.
The driver is also accountable for his actions.
You are required to be able to maintain control over your car and stop it something is obstructing the road. That's the law.
I agree with you that they should have realized that their actions might very well lead to someone who was driving less carefully than they should have might collide with the decoy and damage their car.
However, they couldn't know that the driver was going to swerve off the road at a high rate of speed and roll the car.
The driver's responsibility to drive at a safe speed and maintain control of the vehicle even in the event of something being on the road.
To make convoluted excuses that shift most of the blame to the victim is ludicrous.
I'm not using convoluted logic or trying to shift blame from one person to another. I'm suggesting that each person be accountable for their own actions. Nothing more and nothing less.
The accident wouldn't have happened if the idiot kids didn't put the decoy on the road.
However, if the driver was driving safely and maintained control of their vehicle, the accident also would not have happened.
The actions of the kids that put the decoy on the road are definitely more unusual, for the lack of a better word, and arguably they bear the majority of the responsibility for causing the incident. However, the difference between an incident resulting in minor or no damage, and what happened is the driver not being able to stop or even slow down in time.
Both the kids placing the decoy on the road and the driver who was not driving the car performed actions that were not within the law.
The driver is suffering enough for his mistake. I don't see any need to add to that. However, it's also not fair to hold the kids fully responsible for the severity of the accident in an emotional response to the injuries that were sustained by the driver and his passenger.
They deserve their share of the blame, and deserve to be punished accordingly, but that's it.
I believe it's their legal responsibility to be able to slow down or stop to avoid obstacles on the road.
I'm not suggestion that they needed to have perfect precision.
I'm suggesting that they should to be able to meet the minimum requirements under the laws under which we all drive.
However, if they failed to meet those minimum requirements, which we all do from time to time, that they should at least been able to slow down enough to make this a minor accident with minor damage and maintain reasonable control of their vehicle.
I'm not pulling these concepts out of nowhere. These are the traffic laws we all supposed to abide by.
If we fail to abide by them, we bear some responsibility in the results.
perhaps, but for the actions of the two jv's an accident wouldn't have occurred.
Let me clarify. The praksters are more at fault for causing the incident. The driver is more at fault for the severity of the incident.
If this were not a decoy on the road, but was instead a broken down vehicle on the road, or there was a dog on the road, the fault would lie entirely with the driver.
The kids actions were negligent and foolish, and they deserve to be punished for those actions.
Campbell doesn't deserve leniency whatsoever. He's the bad boy quarterback who keeps getting into trouble and not learning from his mistakes. Campbell's only 16 yrs old and already has two juvenile court convictions. When reading his "apology" he showed no emotion and even got admonished by the judge for mumbling, which is huge for this judge who doesn't believe in punishment fitting the crime and didn't even consider his criminal record.
I wasn't aware of these details. It sounds like from Campbell's past behavior, he deserves a sentence that is near the top end of the sentencing guidelines for what he did.
It does appear that Campbell's sentence included 1500 hours of community service, compared to 500 for Howard, so the Judge apparently did feel Campbell deserved a stronger sentence to some extent.
You obviously can't account for everything that might happen in a dynamic environment.
A dog might jump out on the road. Someone might make a turn in front of you.
This accident wasn't the result of something jumping out in front of them or the environment changing at the last moment.
The decoy was placed on the road before they got there, and drivers are supposed to operate their vehicles in such a way that they can handle that situation.
There are times when everyone doesn't pay as good of attention as they should, or they drive a bit too fast for the road and visibility.
However, this isn't a case where they were outside the bounds of being in proper control by a little bit. The driver wasn't only unable to stop by a little bit. They didn't just slide off the road as they were coming to a stop.
They swerved off the road at a high speed and rolled the car.
I'm not talking about the perfect reflexes of a race car driver, or about doing everything right.
If the driver was traveling at a reasonable rate of speed, and was paying reasonable attention to the road, they shouldn't have ended going off the road at a high rate of speed and rolling the car in response to an object or critter on the road that was there before they approached rather than jumping out at them when they were only a short distance away.
Another judge that needs to be ousted.
These 'boys' should spent several years in jail - enough time that they'll be too old to play high school football when they get out.
That is the MAXIMUM speed limit at which you can travel on that road. You are expected to slow down for corners and hills where your view of the road is obstructed.
Just around the corner and over the hill were four kids standing next to their bikes and talking, completely across the road. I was going 35 mph and doubt that I could have stopped had I been going 55.
I'm glad you did what you were legally required to do. You slowed down because the conditions in which you were driving required you to do so for you to be driving safely.
Are you saying I would have been at fault had I sit one of them when I was driving 20 below the posted limit?
If you came around that corner an hit a child on a bike that was stopped on the road, it would be your fault. If a child runs out in front of you or swerves into your lane at the last moment, that's different.
However, if they are stopped, or simply going slowly in the same lane you are in, you are responsible for being able to stop, and if you hit them, it's your fault.
Ohio Code: 4511.21 Speed Limits.
(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
According to the law, you need to be able to stop within the distance you know to be clear.
If you don't know that, you shouldn't have a driver's license.
Does everyone always drive at a speed at which they can stop within the assured clear distance? No in reality they don't, but by doing so they are accepting responsibility for their role in what might happen as a result.
A car is a very dangerous piece of machinery if misused.
I'm not making excuses for what these kids did. What they did was reckless and dangerous. However, according to an earlier AP article this was not the first car to approach the decoy, and the others were able to avoid the decoy safely.
The pranksters created a situation that contributed to this accident, and they should definitely be punished. However, the driver's operating the vehicle outside the bounds of how it is supposed to be legally operated also contributed to the accident, and was a major factor in the severity of the accident.
Laying the guilt of the injuries sustained by those in the car completely on the pranksters in an emotional response to them escaping injury while those in the car were severely injured isn't just.
Everyone is responsible for their own actions and the part those actions played in the incident.
First of all, I have yet to see you acknowledge that the persons placing the deer in the roadway broke the law.
Second, I will breathlessly await your response when a person's felonious actions result in you "not having your vehicle under control".
Have you ever driven the stretch of road where this happened? I am guessing you have not it is where the deer was placed that was the problem and it was placed where it would be not seen until the last second.Then the ones who placed it there drove back and forth to see what would happpen when drivers came upon it.
About 60 miles north of Columbus
Oh and by the way I have driven that road many times nice deep ditches on either side in most spots, not really very wide beyond the two lanes that it is.
Football, then sentences for KHS pair
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
Two Kenton teens will be going to the juvenile detention center for 60 days for their part in causing a serious car accident in November. But Dailyn Campbell and Jesse Howard won't begin serving their sentences until after the Kenton High School football season.
Judge Larry McKinley sentenced the two Kenton students Tuesday to house arrest during the football season.
Once the season is over, however, the two boys will begin their incarceration in the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center.
Campbell, 16, and Howard, 17, are two of five Kenton students charged in the Nov. 18 incident in which they placed a hunting deer into the road on County Road 144 to see the reaction of passing motorists. A car driven by Bobby Roby swerved to avoid hitting the deer, seriously injuring Roby and passenger Dustin Zachariah.
The families of the victims were so outraged at the leniency of the sentences from the Campbell case, they boycotted Howard's hearing, which came later.
Campbell and Howard were the first of the five to go to court in the case. The pair reached a plea agreement with Hardin County Prosecutor Brad Bailey in which they were allowed to plead no contest to charges of vehicular vandalism.
What you are saying is generally true, but it's not relevant in determining who bears what responsibility for what happened.
Everyone driving a car has the same level of responsibility to operate it safely.
I may actually be an exception to the case where older drivers are generally more skilled drivers.
I started a job delivering pizzas at the age of 16.
By the time I turned 18 I was reasonably skilled in driving my car, and likely more skilled than I am now at least regarding driving on ice and snow.
I likely have better judgment now than I had then, but I was better skilled at driving my car then than I am now, because I was much more practiced at doing it.
I was also delivering pizza in a rural area and had lots of occasions where deer and dogs ran out on the road.
I managed to never hit either or run off the road trying to avoid either. I did get hit by a deer once.
I slowed to about 20 MPH when I saw it running along the side of the road. The deer turned and ran into the side of my car, bounced off and fell down.
It got back up slowly, looked around, and walked into the woods a bit unsteadily, but I think it was just stunned.
There as a small dent in the passenger door of the car, and a bit of a smear on the window.
You'll run into lots of surprises waiting for you on rural roads at night if you driver enough. I never ran saw any decoy deer on the road, but I encountered many things which I needed to respond in the same way I would have had to respond to decoy deer on the road by the time I turned 18.