A bicyclist pled guilty to felony manslaughter on Tuesday in San Francisco, California in a deal that prosecutors have hailed as the first conviction of its kind.
As The Inquisitr reported in March, Marin County resident Chris Bucchere was charged with felony manslaughter after the bicyclist ran over 71-year-old Sutchi Hui in the Castro District of San Francisco on the morning of March 29, 2012.
Although he was not driving a car, Bucchere was charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in March 2013 after Judge Andrew Chang agreed with prosecutors that there was surveillance video evidence that the bicyclist had been traveling at a high rate of speed at the time he struck Hui.
Witnesses also testified that they had seen him run other red lights before the accident, with the implication that the bicyclist was trying to set a personal speed record.
But what may have sealed his guilt in the eyes of the public was Bucchere’s inept attempt to defend himself in social media.
For instance, SF Fist noted that it’s believed the bicyclist himself is the person who left posts in the Mission Cycling AM Riders Google group where he claimed he was committed and going too fast to stop when he entered the intersection where he killed Hui. The posts have since been deleted.
San Francisco prosecutors say that they don’t know of another case in America where a bicyclist who hit and killed a pedestrian was prosecuted for felony manslaughter. A bicyclist in Washington, D.C. who killed a pedestrian pleaded guilty to misdemeanor manslaughter and received no jail time.
Under the plea deal announced Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the 37-year-old Bucchere will not serve any jail time either. When he reports to court on August 16, Judge James Collins will hand down a 1,000 hour community service sentence to the bicyclist for the felony manslaughter.
The judge will also have the option to reduce Bucchere’s conviction to a misdemeanor after six months.
But the plea deal left some people baffled.
— Will Kane (@WillKane) July 23, 2013
@WillKane How does felony vehicular manslaughter not result in jail time??
— Paul Avvento (@pavvento) July 23, 2013
What are your feelings about the cyclist’s felony manslaughter plea deal that seems to come with a get out of jail free card?
[bicycle photo by Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr, Creative Commons]