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Jim Leyrtiz' DUI manslaughter trial delayed

Sep 17, 2010, 2:04 PM EDT

We’re coming up on three years since former Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz was in the auto accident that claimed the life of Fredia
Ann Veitch, and he still has yet to go to trial. Trial was set to start next week, but that’s on hold because Leyrtiz is taking in interlocutory appeal of a key evidence ruling.

At issue is evidence of Veitch’s blood alcohol content — she herself was over the limit at the time — and whether she was texting at the time of the crash. The judge has struck it from the trial, while Leyritz wants to introduce it into evidence.

Why? Because while there’s a strong belief out there that, because Leyrtiz was drunk, he’s virtually assured of being convicted for manslaughter, legally speaking that’s not the case. If he was drunk but otherwise obeying all traffic laws and didn’t do anything to cause the crash, and if Veitch was the one who did cause it, the most he can be convicted of is DUI. While that seems rather unpalatable given that Veitch is dead and Leyritz is not, her behavior before the crash — legally speaking — would seem pretty critical.

I haven’t been following the case too closely recently so I’m not sure what the basis was for the judge striking the evidence, but if his ruling stands, Leyritz is in deep, deep trouble.  

  1. Mrsteve - Sep 17, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Not only being in trouble but the fact that you were in an accident that caused someone to die. That is hard to deal with.

  2. Preston - Sep 17, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    Craig, that article you linked pretty much says why the judge struck it – precedent from other cases is that the crucial question is who had a green light – apparently at least two witnesses, including one in his own car, have Leyritz running the red light. If that’s the case, I can’t say that I disagree with the judge’s decision.

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 17, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Thanks Preston. I was of the impression that was still at issue in the case. If the matter has been stipulated or the fact found as a matter of legal fact, I agree, the evidence should be struck.

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