Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger
He's going to have enough problems even if speeding is proven without intoxication. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that Texas differentiates involuntary from voluntary manslaughter, which is a 2nd degree felony (what has been reported) and carries with it something like up to ~20 years?
Texas has a single recklessness standard but in practice things are differentiated and intoxication will be key to both a conviction and sentencing.
The sentencing varies wildly from around 2-20 years.
As anyone knows who has received a speeding ticket - speeding is not ordinarily considered reckless driving for which there is a separate misdemeanor offense and by analogy recklessness for manslaughter.
If they can't prove intoxication their chances of prosecution plummet and even if successful the sentence will be much lighter. Just imagine this - 100 potential jurors, typical DFW folks, get seated as potential jurors. "How many of you have ever sped in your life?" "How many of you have ever gone 10 mph over the speed limit?" 20, whatever the prosecution is going to claim. Unless you get those with hands in the air to admit they are biased for speeders you ain't getting them off the jury for cause. So now you have a jury with people you are asking to convict themselves of recklessness to the point of being liable for manslaughter. The voir dire would be huge in the case. I'd find the 3-4 worst offenders on the panel (there are always several who will say anything to get out of jury duty) who I am sure the prosecutor is going to strike for cause and wring them about how bad they have been so all the other jurors think well of themselves and the defendant who was "only going 15 mph over the speed limit."
Has anyone seen a report of what kind of vehicle was involved?