Texas Windshield Murder Case Begins

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Texas Windshield Murder Case Begins

Postby Nyufrost » Tue Jun 24, 2003 11:30 am

This is going to be a really interesting case and I hope someone here will also be interested in discussing it so I don't just post to myself but --if not-- I hope people will at least find it interesting to read about. :)

The entire trial will be broadcast live on CourtTV ... ^_^

Following is a brief overview of the case based on my readings and what I have seen on television. Here is a LINK if anyone wants to read more in depth about it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Crime
A Texas woman was driving home from a dance club when she struck a homeless man causing him to fly through her windshield head-first and become stuck with his upper torso inside the car and the rest of his body on the hood of the car.

She proceeded to drive on home and park her car in the garage with the badly injured man still stuck in her windshield. She then went into her home where she allegedly had sex with her boyfriend. She never called 911 or attempted first aid on the man, despite being a certified nurse's aide. She did, however, make several visits to the garage to check on the man -- who lived for several hours after the accident.

After the man died, she called two male friends who came over and disposed of the body in a nearby park.

The Witnesses
A female acquaintance of the defendant's went to police after the defendant gigglingly told a group of friends she could not be designated driver for their night out because she had "hit this white man" and he went through her windshield. She went on to say she was drunk and on Ecstasy at the time of the accident.

The Evidence
1. The defendant confessed in her statement to police after being arrested
2. The defendant's car was found hidden in her garage with the windshield smashed and the seats removed
3. Forensic evidence includes blood, hair and tissue from the victim in the defendant's car
4. The Coroner determined the victim would have lived had he received medical attention and listed the cause of death as bleeding to death as a result of his wounds

The Defense
The woman's lawyers claim this is not a murder but simply a situation involving "a frightened, emotionally distraught young woman who had an accident, panicked and made a wrong choice. Then she called some friends who led her down the wrong path."

Opinions
Top defense lawyer Geoffrey Fieger, appearing as a guest on Greta VonSustern's "On the Record" opined this should definitely be classified a murder since the woman was aware of her actions, made no effort to get help, engaged in a cover-up and bragged to others about what she had done.

Defense attorney Jayne Weintraub, appearing on the same show, disagreed saying it was not a murder because the defendant did not hit the man on purpose.

My opinion is she is guilty of 2nd degree murder, attempting to cover up a crime, tampering with evidence, failure to stop at an accident scene, hit and run, drunk driving and maybe more. But, I am afraid some attorney who cares more about money than justice will find some loophole and get her off on a technicality ... perhaps plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for dropping the murder charge.
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:45 pm

Such a shame no one was interested in this one.

I'm kind of surprised that Giga and Terra --who have been posting in another thread about how women get special treatment in legal matters-- didn't post in this one since it's a woman who was on trial.

Anyways ... here are some interesting stories that have been posted on the web about it, if anyone cares to read about it.

- Windshield Victim Bled to Death in Garage

- Ex-boyfriend tells of dumping body

- Doctor Testifies in Windshield Death

- MD: Man Wedged in Windshield Could Have Survived

- Texas Jury Sees Bloody Car Parts in Windshield Case

- Defendant's friend describes how man died in windshield

- Ex-boyfriend of driver describes disposing of accident victim's body
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:47 pm

Oh yeah and ....
(AP) - A jury took less than an hour Thursday to convict a former nurse's aide of murder for hitting a homeless man with her car, driving home with his mangled body lodged in the windshield and leaving him to die in her garage. Chante Jawan Mallard, 27, looked down and silently cried as the judge read the verdict. It took jurors just 50 minutes to make their decision. Mallard faces life in prison on the murder conviction and 10 years stemming from her guilty plea earlier this week on a separate charge of tampering with evidence.


You can read more about the conviction HERE
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:50 pm

actually, heh, i didn't see this thread until just now... guess i wasn't paying attention...

anyways, i don't think the defenses case is a good one... in what other ways did her panic manifest itself? it didn't intefere with her ability to drive home, it didn't intefere with her ability to have sex, or anything of the like.

and of course, she said she was on ecstasy at the time, so... i guess that would probably be why she didn't panic...

she seems guilty enough to me... not much more i can add to that :lila:
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:03 pm

I am glad my prediction --that her lawyer would try to get her off on a technicality-- was wrong. :)

The other night, Geoffrey Fieger commented that Texas was known for its defense lawyers not providing much of a defense in murder cases which is sort of a good thing. I mean, if lawyer knows his client his guilty then I think it's just wrong for him/her to go out there and try to look for some loophole or technicality in order to get them off when they are clearly guilty. California lawyers are more noted for that tactic. :\

Some people were commenting that Chante was "visibly upset and distraught" over her actions and I was thinking ....

Yeah right! Chante was "visibly upset and distraught" over the fact she was facing life in prison for getting caught not because she was remorseful over what she did. Because, according to her friend, Chante was laughing about it when she told her friends what she had done.

I think it sort of sucks that out of the 8 friends she told, only 1 went to the police, but I am glad that at least that 1 person had the conscious to come forward. :)
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:11 pm

if a friend of mine told me they killed someone, i wouldn't believe them :lila:

likewise, i doubt her friends believed her...
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Postby Gigafrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:18 pm

Well, to begin with, we're dealing with manslaughter and not murder in the other thread...plus, it's possible for a woman to screw herself big-time by continuing to drive, have sex, and joke about the incident. Really, this is quite different from the other thread in that in the other one she messed up but people didn't care, where-as in this one she ****ed up incredibly badly.

About the 1 out of 8 telling police, there are a few reasons that could happen.

1) Shock\assumptions. What I mean by this is something similar to what happens in some emergency situations. You know how crowds of people gather around? When I was instructed in first aid, I remember quite clearly that I'm supposed to specifically pick somebody out of the crowd and tell *that* person to call 911...not just to yell out "somebody call 911!!!". People will either be shocked because of the incident or they will assume that somebody else will do it. Of course there's going to be the occasional person to break from that norm, but in first aid situations you can't risk that.

2) They were scared. Maybe they didn't want her to go to jail for murder...maybe they were scared that she might "accidently" kill them or something.

3) They were all high on some drug.

Personally, I think #1 is why so many wouldn't speak.
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:53 pm

It's been my experience that people just don't want to get involved. They don't want to be personally inconvenienced by having to spend their time doing the right thing so they distance themself from it by rationalizing it as not their problem. Others simply refuse to rat on a friend even if they have committed the worst imaginable crime.

Now ... think about this ....

Remember another case, also in Texas, where a couple of white guys chained a disabled black man to the back of their truck and dragged him to death? That was tried as a hate crime, no?

Chante --a black woman-- hits a homeless white man and drives around with him embedded in her windshield, parks in her garage and leaves him to die while she goes in the house and has sex and repeatly returns to the garage to see if the man was still alive yet never calls 911.

She later *gigglingly* told friends she had killed "this white man."

Is Chante also guilty of a hate crime?
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:02 pm

It's been my experience that people just don't want to get involved. They don't want to be personally inconvenienced by having to spend their time doing the right thing so they distance themself from it by rationalizing it as not their problem. Others simply refuse to rat on a friend even if they have committed the worst imaginable crime.


i certainly hope that your experience isn't very broad in this, hehe :lila:

as for the other stuff... i actually didn't know the person who killed the homeless person was black, but considering that she was on drugs, i don't think it'd make much of a difference - unless other people have been tried for hate crimes while on drugs? it doesn't seem like they should, 'cause hate implies a clear state of mind, to me, sorta...

also, what's the diff. between hate crimes and normal crimes? does a 2nd degree murder charge for a hate crime have harsher consequences then a normal 2nd degree murder charge?
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:33 pm

Well, as you established in one of your posts, Chante had the clear presence of mind to drive home, hide her car, have sex and so on so I think she would have a clear enough presence of mind to know whether she didn't like white people or not and she sure did know the guy she hit was white.

I'm not saying she did or didn't like white people ... just wondering if her acts were racially motivated given her "laughing and giggling" when she told about it to girlfriends.

I *think* the guys who drug the man to death while he was chained to their truck were drinking but I am not 100% sure of that.

What they had going against them were that police seized racist material in their homes and two of them had white supremicist gang tattoos which makes it pretty clear that their crime was indeed racially motivated.

There IS a difference in how a murder committed as a hate crime is prosecuted but I am not exactly sure what it is ... I am sure the penalty is a bit stiffer though.
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:37 pm

Well, as you established in one of your posts, Chante had the clear presence of mind to drive home, hide her car, have sex and so on so I think she would have a clear enough presence of mind to know whether she didn't like white people or not and she sure did know the guy she hit was white.


i did say that, didn't i? good catch :) *blushes*
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Postby Nyufrost » Sat Jun 28, 2003 1:47 am

Chante has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. So, what do you think ... is that too much, not enough. just right?

Unless she gets an early parole then I think 50 years is long enough though I think they should have factored in parole because I don't think she should just get out in 10 years for good behavior.

(AP) - A jury sentenced Chante Mallard to 50 years in prison Friday for leaving an accident victim to die a slow death while lodged in the broken windshield of her car. Mallard, 27, could have received anywhere from five years probation to life in prison for murdering Gregory Biggs.

The whole story is HERE
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Postby TerraFrost » Sat Jun 28, 2003 2:55 am

50 years to me *seems* kinda excessive, but... i dunno... i'd have to think about that one more, heh.
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Postby Javafrost » Sat Jun 28, 2003 3:01 am

This was a horrible case to think about. What an awful way to die.
I think at least one of the hate crime guys got the death penalty.
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Postby Nyufrost » Sat Jun 28, 2003 5:36 am

Hmmm ... I don't know ... I could look it up but my guess would be that the driver would be the one likely to get the death penalty on that one.

Life in prison without parole or the death penalty are pretty common sentences for murder so I think Chante got off a little light, actually. Perhaps they ruled it was not 1st degree ... I'll have to check on that.
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