Earlier today I was waiting for that jury to return.  

They’re back…

John Tiemann had been through three weeks of trial on two felony charges of vehicular manslaughter.  The State said he was guilty of causing the deaths of Tom and Mary Woychick while driving while under the influence of drugs –  diphenhydramine (Benedryl) and phenytoin (Dilantin). Each of those charges carried 15 years in prison if he was convicted, or a possible 30 years. As an alternative the State argued he was grossly negligent by driving that morning since John knew that he was blind in one eye and had limited peripheral vision in the other. Those charges could have carried 20 years. Of course the State had given John a license to drive knowing he was disabled – and John had driven without any real problem for 20 years.  His medical problems precipitating that blindness were related to the removal of brain tumors in 1988.

The jury found John Tiemann not guilty of the felony counts.

It found that John had been negligent as he drove that morning – and ruled that he was guilty of two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter. John faces a potential year in jail for each count.

So was that a "win" asked the Idaho Statesman reporter.  

Let’s see, the state charges you with two felonies that will subject you to up to 30 years in prison, spends three weeks in trial and argues that you committed two felonies.  I guess you have to decide what constitutes a win. 

I said in trial there could not really be any winner. That is true – the Woychicks were wonderful community leaders. They left behind terrific family members who undoubtedly continue to suffer a tragic loss. Nothing that would have happened in that court room could bring back Tom and Mary Woychick, but I understand the family wanted to feel that justice had been served. I remain terribly sorry for their loss.

John will be sentenced in July, and there remains much to do to prepare for that sentencing date, but for today I am relieved he will not face a potential prison sentence. 


Continue Reading Tiemann – Not Guilty of Felony Vehicular Manslaughter

 After three weeks, I am finally out of trial. Well, out in the sense that I am waiting on a jury verdict. Waiting is a killer for everyone in this situation, and I don’t write about cases while they are being tried. So more about that case soon, but this morning I read a little blurb about Boise soldier Andrew

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 KTVB news reported last night that all felony charges filed against five former Blackfoot high school football players have been dismissed, leaving only misdemeanor charges of battery. A few weeks ago the allegations gained international news status, and were discussed openly by national news programs and radio call in shows. Generally, the stories made it sound as if the school

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 I decided that I should direct you to an article in today’s Idaho Statesman in which Sara Weaver reports that she has forgiven federal agents who shot and killed her mother and brother on Ruby Ridge. I was lucky enough to represent Randy Weaver with Gerry Spence and Garry Gilman when he was charged with the murder of Deputy US

Continue Reading Sara Weaver News From Statesman – “Forgiveness”

 Laura Silsby is still sitting in a Haitian jail while a judge decides whether to order a trial on charges that she tried to take children from Haiti to the Dominican Republic who she believed were either orphaned or abandoned. The new charge is "arranging irregular travel." You will recall that she and other Idaho missionaries were in Haiti, ostensibly

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 I have had some comments (some not so supportive) and calls (a few agreed) about my last post on Haiti. I know I am off topic here, but take a look at the Associated Press report today about the dismal failings of the government in Haiti to handle the job of providing support to its people. After seizing control of

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 I was struck by the irony of it all – abandoned and orphaned children being delivered to another orphanage by apparently well meaning Americans – while the government of Haiti cannot deliver even the most basic essentials to its people. They cannot take so much as water to their own but they presume American missionaries are trafficking in children. Sick.

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