Crime, Drinking, Kids, Parties, Police

Lawsuit of the Day: Failure to Help Drunk Teenager = Homicide?

utah negligent homicide big love.jpgHere’s a fact pattern: teen steals liquor, teen gets hammered, adult is called to help, adult drives teen home, teen dies, adult gets charged with… negligent homicide?
That’s the reality facing Candice Collard. The 24-year-old woman is being charged with homicide in Utah for failing to help Jess “Micade” Horrocks, 14, who died of alcohol poisoning this past April.
The charge seems especially harsh given that Utah has a criminal statute for failure to render aid. Uintah County Deputy Attorney Greg Lamb said that the homicide charge was warranted because Collard “failed miserably in several areas that could have prevented [Horrocks’s] death.” Lamb admits that his office is taking a “novel” approach to this case, which should make Collard feel swell.
Collard drove the teen 13 miles to Collard’s home instead of 2 miles to the hospital. Horrocks did not receive medical attention until the next day
In retrospect, obviously, Collard’s choice was unwise. But Collard neither procured the alcohol nor sat there and poured it down Horrocks’s throat.
This charge puts the perverse in legal incentives. When ineffective help puts you in danger of a homicide conviction, wouldn’t you rather roll the dice with a failure-to-render-aid charge?
The “go screw yourself, kid” attitude is something we’d expect out of the Bronx, but Utah?
Woman charged in boy’s alcohol-poisoning death [Salt Lake Tribune via Fark]

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