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Good news for NJ and anyone who knew DANL

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Old 08-18-2003, 08:20 PM
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Thumbs up Good news for NJ and anyone who knew DANL

Plea REJECTED



Judge rejects plea bargain in road-rage death



Saturday, August 16, 2003

By JENNIFER V. HUGHES
STAFF WRITER
A judge on Friday took the rare step of rejecting a probation-only plea deal for a Morris County man who left the scene of a fatal accident, saying the defendant deserved to spend time in jail.
Now, Frederick Harvey's guilty plea will be rescinded and cannot be used against him, and the case will be back in court in October.
"The thing that had troubled us the most all along was the fact that he wasn't going to go to jail," said Ken Lanza, the victim's brother, who had sat in the back row of the Paterson courtroom with his fingers crossed as the judge's ruling became clear. The family had long been unhappy with the plea bargain.
Since the incident, a bill has been introduced that would change the law so that leaving the scene of a fatal accident brings a two-year prison term.
Harvey, 56, of Chester, was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident after a road-rage incident with Daniel Lanza, 46, on Nov. 2. Lanza pulled out of his driveway on Clinton Road in West Milford, apparently cutting Harvey off.
Harvey tailgated Lanza, who responded by hitting the brakes. Witnesses told police they saw the two drivers pass each other, and at some point, Lanza stopped his car and started walking toward Harvey's truck. Harvey then attempted to swerve around Lanza, but his truck struck him, officials said.
Harvey then drove off. There were no external injuries, and police who found Lanza's body originally believed he had suffered a heart attack. The medical evidence showed Harvey was driving just a few miles per hour.
State Superior Court Judge Miguel De La Carrera said there was nothing to show that jail would be an unnecessary hardship on Harvey - one of the factors considered in sentencing. He also said he doubted Harvey when he told investigators he didn't know he had hit anyone.
"I find it hard to fathom how ... Mr. Harvey thought he was going over rocks, instead of a 200-pound human being," he said. Harvey, a retired computer professional, showed no reaction to the ruling.
Both James Wilson, Passaic County senior assistant prosecutor, and defense lawyer William Ware argued the plea was fair and should stand.
Wilson said there was no physical evidence tying Harvey to the crime, and it would have been unsolved if he had not come to police about a week after the incident. While the victim's family lamented the fact that a more serious death-by-auto charge was not brought, Wilson said grand jurors rejected that option.
. Ware also said the state Division of Motor Vehicles has already suspended Harvey's license for 30 months.
"He will regret that day for the rest of his waking hours," Ware said. Before pleading guilty, Harvey had applied for a program similar to probation, but even more lenient. He was rejected, but now Ware said he will appeal.
"This should not have happened, but it was an accident," he said.
When they had a chance to speak in court, none of Lanza's family members asked the judge to reject the deal, but afterward they said they were pleased.
In court, Karen Sibilia, Lanza's sister, said she couldn't understand how someone could "run a human being completely over and leave them dying in the street."
"Good people don't do things like that," she said. "This was a crime, not an accident.
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:29 PM
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The medical evidence showed Harvey was driving just a few miles per hour.

How does 3-4 mph kill someone?
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:39 PM
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catch a bumper on your head at 5 mph see what happenes?
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:42 PM
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I am pretty sure Dan was knocked over, and then driven over. I know I read that somewhere.

Last edited by Sydwayz; 08-18-2003 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:46 PM
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Just as a side note there is not a law in NJ for this type of incident.
Most can walk FREE.
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:53 PM
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Thats good news ,hopefully our judicial system will work and give this person a sentence that fits the crime. Good luck to Dan's family. I hope you find your peace .

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Old 08-18-2003, 08:55 PM
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They should lock his ass up and throw away the key !
DanL was one of the good ones...may he rest in peace..

Last edited by rockstrmkr; 08-18-2003 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 08-18-2003, 09:04 PM
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I hope for Dan L's Family's sake and Becca this brings some feeling of relief. Unfortunately nothing can bring Dan back but at least there may be some consequences for the person who took his life.
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:11 PM
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I have to say this guy turned Becca's life upside down.
By taken Dan away from her it has completely changed
her life.
She not only has she Lost DAN , she lost her Job,and Her Home.
And the Dream's of a Great Future with DAN.

I have gone boating with her and she has to be one of the best 1st mates any Man could have period!

This Guy deserve's at the very least some jail time for leaving the scene.
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Old 08-18-2003, 11:39 PM
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a couple years in jail doesnt seem like enough, but it definitely beats him just walking away scott free. hopefully while in jail someone shows him what its like to be the victim!
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