A 14 year old boy is charged with murder after he illegally was driving a car where his friends were throwing eggs at oncoming cars. A man began to chase them with his car causing them to run a red light, killing a 45 year old mother. Horribly sad case. I discuss it with Trace Gallagher on Fox News.
Egging prank leads to death and murder charges of 14-year-old
January 6th, 2019
Trace Gallagher: A fourteen-year-old boy in Texas charged with murder after investigators say a prank led to a deadly car crash live. Casey Stegall is Live in Dallas, and Casey, tell us more about this prank.
Casey Stegall: Well, Trace, a prank that wasn’t so funny clearly and police say that teen driver who caused this whole thing was throwing eggs at random cars with his friends in the moments leading up to this deadly accident. And they say, they believe that is what set off this entire deadly chain of events, in fact surveillance tape from nearby businesses now paint a clearer picture. It shows the exact moment the fourteen-year-old sped through an intersection running a red light in broad daylight and slamming into Sylvia’s Savalas’s truck, killing her instantly. But the video also shows a yellow car, see there, running the red light, as well apparently in hot pursuit of the teens at the time. Well they told deputies that they were trying to get away from that car because the driver showed them a gun and started following them. Moments after the crash though you can see that yellow car fleeing and speeding away from the scene, now that driver was eventually located and is said to be cooperating with authorities. Prosecutors say it’s entirely possible that he could be charged with failure to stop and render aid resulting in a death, which is a felony if a grand jury indicts him on it, Trace.
Trace Gallagher: Yeah, just a gruesome crash we’re hearing now from the victim’s family, Casey?
Casey Stegall: That’s right and it’s just heartbreaking, they describe a woman who lived each day to the fullest. She lived down in South Texas, a forty-five-year-old single mother and just so happen to be up in the Houston area to ring in twenty nineteen with her family. And they say that she was just out running a few errands at the time of the accident, authorities say this is unfortunately a case of Sylvia Savalas just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And now, her family, her daughter, they all want justice, listen.
Jessica Gaspar: He did what he did and he took my mother’s life, so yes, he has to pay for what happened.
Casey Stegall: As for that fourteen-year-old unlicensed driver, he has suffered a broken ankle in the crash, was taken to hospital, and has been arrested, now in detention at a juvenile detention facility. Formally charged with murder now, Trace.
Trace Gallagher: Casey Stegall live for us in Dallas. Casey thank you. Let’s bring in Bob Bianchi he’s a Defense Attorney and former Prosecutor, and Bob the daughter of the victim is right, I mean he did what he did and somebody has to be held accountable for this.
Robert Bianchi: Yeah, absolutely, this is a Prosecutor to homicide work for many years this is the kind of case where you need to send deterrence. This issue of teenagers and people driving recklessly and causing death is at a rampant epidemic throughout the country, but I will note this there is an odd twist to this case because the defense for these kids is that they were trying to escape from somebody who was chasing them. And had a gun, and certainly the Defense Attorney is going to look at that and say it’s a defense of necessity because these kids were trying to get away from the adult. Listen kids will be kids, they did a horrible horrific thing, resulted in his death but this adult, I think he’s looking at some serious time here.
Trace Gallagher: So, if you’re an adult and somebody throws an egg at your car, you’re not allowed to chase them, is that what you’re saying here? Or is it the gun? What’s the factor that makes this so nefarious for this guy who was chasing?
Robert Bianchi: Well, you know, listen Trace, when we try to tell people is it’s not vigilante style justice, you call 911, you can’t be driving recklessly down the road because somebody threw an egg at your car, causing them and you to go through a red light. And of course, the gun is an added element of a problem for him in addition to the law that was just cited by the reporter, that failure to stop where there is a death is a third-degree felony in Texas. You could face up to ten years just on that alone.
Trace Gallagher: Yeah, and let’s just talk about the fourteen-year-old, I mean look, we know that he’s not going to get life in prison this is not going to be one of those kinds of cases even though he’s charged with murder. What is he facing here Bob? Is this is just one of those things they say look we have to charge him with something because the optics, this is just a bad looking incident? Or what’s exactly going on here?
Robert Bianchi: Great question Trace, listen this is Texas. Texas does not play, they would have typically charged somebody with manslaughter for this case but they charged him with murder. Murders, felony murder, that is during the commission of a felony, that is unauthorize use of that motor vehicle where death results. So, I’m thinking that they’re doing that because they’re looking at the potential of waving in this case up to the adult courts to try him as an adult because that would be the only charge that would be able to do that with in this particular case. And that explains why they charge felony murder as opposed to the typical manslaughter case.
Trace Gallagher: Very quickly Bob, down the road who’s getting more time here the kid that was actually driving the car or the guy who was chasing the kid driving the car?
Robert Bianchi: You know, with juveniles, the general rule is you try to look towards rehabilitation unless they get waved up as an adult. I got to be honest with you Trace, at first blush the kids look really bad but if they can prove that they were being pursued by this guy, and this guy had a gun, I think the adult is going to be looking at more time. As a Prosecutor on these cases I’m looking at him as the primary cause as to why these kids fled through that red light, at least that will be the kids the kids defense.
Trace Gallagher: Yeah, well the victim, you know, there’s got to be some accountability for the victim as well, Bob Bianchi good to see you my friend. Thank you.
Robert Bianchi: You got it Trace, thanks.