Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Man Accused of Causing MTA Bus Driver's Death Will Stand Trial

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TWC News: Man Accused of Causing MTA Bus Driver's Death Will Stand Trial
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A Manhattan judge on Monday refused to drop charges against a man prosecutors say was driving a stolen truck when he slammed into a city bus, killing the driver.

It happened on February 12 at the intersection of 14th Street and Seventh Avenue.

William Pena, a 17-year Metropolitan Transportation Authority veteran, was killed.

Domonic Whilby is facing multiple charges including depraved indifference, murder and reckless endangerment.

His attorney tried to argue that Whilby didn't comprehend what he was doing because he was drunk at the time of the incident.

But a judge refused to throw out any of the charges.

Outside of court, Pena's friends and fellow bus drivers were grateful.

"We want the maximum sentence. And nothing else. We want no plea-bargaining. We want the maximum sentence. Mr. Whilby is still alive. He's got a whole life ahead of him. We will never, ever see William again," said Pena's common law wife, Nancy Rodriguez.

"Pure and simple. He was murdered. His death was an act of murder. And we demand justice for William Pena," said TWU Transit Worker's Union President John Samuelsen.

In court, the judge said Whilby -- whose uncle is model Tyson Beckford -- had a blood alcohol content level of .22 when he was arrested, well above the legal limit.

Whilby's lawyer, Harvey Slovis, says based on that and other legal technicalities there's no way the murder charges will stand up in a jury trial.

"How in the world are they gonna prove that he had a conscious intent number one to get in that car and number two that he appreciated that by getting in the car there was a chance that someone would die. Non existent," Slovis said.

Both sides are set to be back in court on September 10.

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