Todd Kidwell, a 37-year-old resident of Walnut, Kansas, has been charged with murder for his role in an auto accident that involved his vehicle and a bicyclist.
Kidwell was attempting to pass 60-year-old Glenda Taylor, who was riding her bike in preparation for the upcoming Kansas State Time Trial Championships, when his vehicle struck Taylor.
She later died from her injuries.
What is so unusual about the accident, at least from the initial reports, is that many supporters feel that the second-degree murder charge leveled at Kidwell by Crawford County authorities is overkill.
The incident occurred on June 7. Todd Kidwell turned himself over to police on June 11 and according to the information received by KOAM-TV, he never tried to deny his involvement.
No indications as of Saturday reveal this to be a hit-and-run accident. In other words, he and his passenger appear to have stopped the car and waited for authorities to arrive after striking Ms. Taylor.
This, coupled with the fact that his supporters refer to him as a nice family man has some crying foul.
“I have known Todd personally for years he is a good man,” said friend Morgan Dewey. “It was an accident… Its a tragedy all the way around. I am very sad for both families may God help them all heal inside and find comfort.”
“This was a tragic accident, both families are suffering,” notes Kidwell’s cousin Missy Morrison. “Putting a loving father away for a mistake, a true accident will not bring the victim back unfortunately and is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life. There’s just no justice in ending two lives here by punishing him with all these charges. I hope they consider that this is a decent man, not a malicious man. A father with young children who isn’t deserving of all these charges. I’m sorry for the victim’s family, I pray that they find peace. I pray that Todd finds the support that’s needed from his community. He is my cousin, I love him and support him and ask that you find it in your hearts to find forgiveness and help a family in need of love and understanding. God bless.”
The “other charges” that Missy is referring to include the following: reckless driving, improper passing of a bicycle, and driving left in a no-passing zone.
It’s the first charge that has supporters terrified.
According to FindLaw, sentencing in Missouri for a second-degree murder charge would depend on the circumstances, but it can result in life imprisonment.
Considering that a judge recently reduced a rapist’s sentence to 10 years for targeting a 3-year-old, it’s possible to see why some might have a problem with the charge.
But what do you think, readers? Should Todd Kidwell be tried for second-degree murder or a lesser charge? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image of Todd Kidwell and Glenda Taylor via KOAM-TV, linked above]