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Drunk driver who killed Nick Adenhart asks the judge to drop murder charge

Aug 13, 2010, 10:35 AM EDT

Last year Andrew Gallo drove his van into a car carrying Nick Adenhart, killing the Angels pitcher and two other people.
He was well over the legal alcohol limit and was charged with murder, but yesterday Gallo’s lawyer filed a motion asking the judge to drop those charges by claiming, according to the Associated Press, that Gallo “did not intend to drive drunk.”
In the motion attorney Jacqueline Goodman claims that Gallo did not have “intended malice” and took the wheel only after his planned designated driver got drunk himself.
Naturally the prosecuting attorney says none of that matters and, while not an actual lawyer like Craig or even a pretend lawyer like Lionel Hutz, I tend to agree. The trial is scheduled for later this month.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 13, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Right, and Al Capone really meant to pay his taxes eventually.

  2. nps6724 - Aug 13, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    Who intends to drive drunk?

  3. minnesconsin_ad - Aug 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    i’m such a wimp and i tend to empathize with just about anyone. but this is absurd. call a cab, my friend. you made a choice, the choice resulted in the loss of three lives, so face the consequences.

  4. geoknows - Aug 13, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    “But, Your Honor, I never intended to kill someone when I shot aimlessly into that crowd…I only fired because my friend wouldn’t!”
    This has got to be the stupidest excuse in the world…beyond ridiculous. I can’t believe any judge will buy.

  5. CrazyYankee - Aug 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    he may not be trying to beat the rap, but have the charges downgraded from murder (intentional) to manslaughter, which I believe, accounts for non-intentional acts. Again, craig could verify that definition

  6. BDawk - Aug 13, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Nice sideburns, four eyes.

  7. Glenn - Aug 13, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    We seem to be confused, as a society, by result versus intent. By the logic above, anyone caught driving with a 0.8 blood alcohol level be charged with attempted murder. If one is driving sober but causes an accident in which someone dies, are they a murderer? (You should have known that fiddling with the CD player could cause an accident yet you chose to do it!) Is anyone who has had too much to drink considered a good judge of whether or not they should drive? I doubt that this driver committed murder. He did a horrible thing and is responsible for it, but doesn’t a murder charge require an intent to kill someone? It is easy to be indignant, but if your friend was driving drunk and were lucky enough to get home without incident, many of us might (wrongly) find it an amusing story. “Holy crap, I parked the car in the lawn.” I think this is a complex issue and it is too easy to just howl for blood. No punishment will be extreme enough to rectify the loss of three lives.

  8. Infinite Wisdom - Aug 13, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    Sideburns like that will land you a prison boyfriend real quick.

  9. Alex Poterack - Aug 13, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Can we get some commentary from Craig on this? IANAL, but I believe intent is at least relevant when determining whether someone is charged with murder as opposed to manslaughter; what’s the general precedent in cases like this?

  10. JBerardi - Aug 13, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    Seriously, someone fire up the Craig Signal and have him explain this. Because I think this guy has a point– doesn’t murder require intent to kill? I don’t have a lot of sympathy for this guy, but I kinda doubt he had any intent other than to get home without incident.

  11. JBerardi - Aug 13, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    And yet, who among us can honestly say they never have?

  12. JBerardi - Aug 13, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    [You know, the “reply” button could really work a whole lot better…]

  13. JBerardi - Aug 13, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    Alright, since Craig isn’t here, we’re left with Wikipedia:

    “Under state of mind (iii), an “abandoned and malignant heart”, the killing must result from defendant’s conduct involving a reckless indifference to human life and a conscious disregard of an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily injury. An example of this is a 2007 law in California where an individual could be convicted of third-degree murder if he or she kills another person while operating a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances.

  14. Glenn - Aug 13, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Well, I guess that answers that question. Ethical inconsistencies aside, the driver would have a hard time avoiding a murder charge under that California law.

  15. Bender12 - Aug 13, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Its even more absurb when you realize that the defendant has a history of getting drunk, driving, and fucking up peoples life. But “he didnt mean to”.

  16. Omega - Aug 13, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Who can honestly say they have never drove drunk? Me, I can honestly say that. My first and only girlfriend in High School was killed by a drunk driver the night we decided to start dating.
    This guy does deserve a fair trial represented by a competent (if unethical) lawyer. He also deserves to face justice for taking 3 lives while callously disregarding the safety of everyone on the road the night he chose to get to drunk to drive and got behind the wheel anyway.
    Didn’t intend to drive drunk…they have these things called buses, maybe you have seen them, big smelly load things that get you home when you can’t or shouldn’t drive. Cabs, they work too, not as big or smelly, cost a bit more, but then again 3 people don’t die at your hands if you call one. Friends? well, with this guy the only friend he probably had left got drunk with him.

  17. myob - Aug 13, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    I am 60 years old and have never driven drunk. My parents drove drunk and scared the crap out of me too many time. Gallo got drunk, drove, and then killed 3 people while driving an automobile (lethal weapon at over 1 ton). He needs to own up to his actions, but most drunks don’t. I hope the judge throws the book at him.

  18. avg joe - Aug 13, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    “This guy does deserve a fair trial represented by a competent (if unethical) lawyer.”
    I don’t think it’s fair to call the lawyer unethical for trying his best to represent his client. He’s not lying to the court or making false statements of fact – he’s just making a legal argument. He’ll probably lose (that’s what the judge and jury are for), but he’s not doing anything unethical.

  19. Jimee Johnson - Aug 14, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    He will do lots of jail time, no matter what.

  20. jimbo1949 - Aug 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    “Honest, I didn’t mean to kill anybody. And I promise the next time it happens I won’t mean to kill anybody then either.”
    Protect the rest of society, lock him up and throw away the key.

  21. Colin Wyers - Aug 14, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    This is really, really his own fault:
    “Gallo was driving on a suspended license at the time of the crash, cops said. Court documents show he pleaded guilty to drunk driving in May 2006 after a December 2005 arrest in neighboring San Bernardino County.
    As part of his plea deal, Gallo agreed that he could be charged with murder if he continued to drive drunk and killed somebody.”

  22. Jimsjam33 - Aug 15, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    Guillotine ! Guillotine ! Guillotine !
    What’s that you said your honor ? Can I be a fair and impartial juror ?
    Why of course I can . Trust me .

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