Trial in CHP officer’s alleged murder begins

July 19, 2011

Kaylee Weisenberg

A murder trial is underway for a woman accused of killing a California Highway Patrol officer while under the influence of methamphetamine. [Tribune]

In his opening statement, defense attorney Tom McCormick said that Kaylee Ann Weisenberg, 23, wasn’t under the influence during the June 27, 2010, crash that killed Officer Brett Oswald along South River Road near Paso Robles.

Oswald was attempting to have a broken down car towed away when Weisenberg crashed into him. The defense is claiming that it was simply an accident and that Oswald’s location made him difficult to avoid.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham said in his opening statement that Weisenberg was a “ticking time bomb” with a history of reckless driving.

“She had been smoking methamphetamine three or four times a week in the months leading up to this crash,” Cunningham added.

Weisenberg has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, inflicting great bodily injury in the commission of a felony and driving under the influence causing great bodily injury.

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Driving on a suspended license killing a law enforement officer, with all that’s in this woman’s history she is going down. How far will she go down is the question. There is no way out except maybe a plea deal to save us all some money but jail time is in this ladies future.

RIP officer and my condolences again to all his family.

We are all lucky it was not one of us or one of our family members.

My evening post

The state has the burden of proof, cunninham has his job cut out for him.

Defense is entitled to all discovery to chip away, cross examine credibility and weight.

Tom McCormick is a professional attorney, not concerned with the CHP’s death, only his duty as a defense attorney (Thats how it is).

Gross negligence can result in criminal prosecution or dispensed into an administrative action by the DMV.

If the case is dismissed, and if the DMV agency takes an action, she could recover her driving priviledge in one year (That is how it is by law)!

This meth head could be back in society and the CHP is dead (That is how it is).

We have to protect ourselves out there.

Just a few weeks ago, we came around a turn on Vineyard drive, heading south off of 46 and a CHP was standing right in the middle of the road!

There were no flashing lights, no cones, his car was pulled off to the side, partially in the right lane and for some reason he was standing right in the middle of the road!

We were going the speed limit and were able to slow down and avoid the officer…..but what a risk!

With all the wineries in the area, winding roads, etc. CHP needs to be a bit more careful about standing in the middle of the road.

If regular person pulled their car over and stood in the middle of the road they’d get ticketed.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham’s, statement is prejudicial. I thought that was what we had trials for. Doesn’t his statement make it more difficult for Miss Weisenberg to get a fair trial now that everybody in the local area has heard this?

Yes and in my opinion, the fact that he mentioned that she use’s meth 3 or 4 times a week is probably because the toxicology tests show that it wasn’t active in her system at the time of the accident. I could be wrong but if I am, then why didn’t the DA simply say that it was active in her system at the time, and that she would have had to use it in the last X amount of hours. Toxicology tests reveal that type of information.

I find the DA’s opening statement rather suspect.

No its not prejudicial. It is the prosecutor’s OPENING STATEMENT during the trial.

Now he needs to prove it. With facts, not hearsay or circumstantial garbage.

Yes, it IS prejudicial. Your key words are, “during the trial.” But he didn’t say all this “during the trial,” did he? He said it in a “news conference.” How convenient for his case! Meanwhile, the accused, being locked up and more or less incomunicado, doesn’t have the benefit, power, or luxury, of calling up the newsreporters to try her case via the newsmedia, does she?

A different set of emotion takes place, when a victim of vehicular manslaughter occurs.

Many years ago, I knew a wealthy couple whose son was killed by what authorities believed to be a drunk driver, the son’s wife was paralyzed from the TC (for life).

About 10 years after, I saw the couple again, they told me that they have gone on many cruises and traveled all over, but no matter what they did or where they go, the lost of their son from a DUI driver never shakes loose.

My condolence for the family of the CHP officer.

(I put too many post, nuff input, I’m off)

It is “possible” for “some” heavier and stronger drug users to have hang overs affecting their perceptual judgement and reactions, so these type cases are un-exact and allows room to modify or escape charges (Their key is a good lawyer).

A few years back, two old ladies were helping homeless transients get benefits, once all the paper work was done naming themselves as beneficiaries, one would bring him into the street, the other would run him over, killing him with a car (conspiracy).

Not long ago, here, locally, a distraught young man over the break up with his girl friend, ran off the highway and killed two visiting seniors (claiming lack of intent-but he won’t escape gross negligence).

A car is more deadly than a .44 magnum, it can be used to kill with intent or by irresponsibility!

Oh Cindy,

As Elisabeth in “Pride & Prejudice” said,”… I wish I could think as well of (her) as you…” However, part of looking at things objectively is not to allow yourself to become emotionally involved with the defendant.

Meth is the ‘poor white trash’ drug of choice… and our county is one of the capitals for it. I understand if you check out some of our old abandoned zinc mines in the county that you will find that this has been where many byproducts have been deposited. Hopefully, it doesn’t make it into our water table, yet another good reason to buy bottled water. Yeah, it she was ‘under the influence’ that needs to be taken into account.

I am sure that the defense will question every piece of evidence and every witness will be crucified… but there is a truth here and if she is guilty… well… there need to be consequences. It’s always sad to see someone start heading down a road that those of us who are a bit older see as a tragic end… but believe me, if experience is any teacher, then she probably thinks she is the cool one and we are the fools.

Is/ does diminished capacity to be a responsible and safe driver because of a person’s life style (chronic drug use) a defense in (“criminal”) a vehiclular homicide?

These type cases at first look cut and dry but are not when it gets to court.

This is where LE investigators earn their money to get good detail evidence.

Roger, I don’t know where you’re going with this, on one hand you confirm my statement(s) and then you add a twist, elucidating about the evil’s that meth has wrought upon our society. So you too, are attempting to incite rather than consider the facts behind the incident that she is charged with. This isn’t about meth unless she was actually under the influence, right or wrong? Even then, it is about how it effected her, not society as a whole, right or wrong?

By the way, Please don’t put words in my mouth, (” I wish I could think as well of (her) as you…”). I did not say what I think of her but rather concerned myself with how public opinion is effecting her trial. “Meth is the ‘poor white trash’ drug of choice”. The fact that she is or acts like “poor white trash” should have nothing to do with a verdict. Likewise, who she hit and killed shouldn’t matter either but in both cases, I suspect that she has been pre- judged exactly for those reasons. If she had a public defender, she wouldn’t stand a chance in hell, in my opinion. Such is the burden of the poor white, black, brown, slant eyed disposable trash.

I’ll be watching for the facts to come out before I judge her as a murderer rather a person who made some very bad choices and had an accident while driving too fast, how fast very well might be the deciding factor.

I hope this white trash Meth Head NEVER DRIVES AGAIN…No one is safe with this dead beat driving around, she’ll kill again. Get her off the streets NOW…

In all the coverage of this story, I haven’t seen any mention of the toxicology of meth; i.e. how it affects the body, how long it lingers in the system, performance factors while intoxicated, etc. I also haven’t seen any (public) evidence that the woman was DWI at all. That being said…

From NIH:

“Methamphetamine (METH) is an illicit psychostimulant that is widely abused in the world. Several lines of evidence suggest that chronic METH abuse leads to neurodegenerative changes in the human brain. These include damage to dopamine and serotonin axons, loss of gray matter accompanied by hypertrophy of the white matter and microgliosis in different brain areas.”

Defense says she wasn’t, DA says she was. Guess we’ll have to wait and see if the State can makes its case with some real evidence. But if they can prove long-term use of meth by the defendant, they can prove long-term, permanent brain damage and loss of function.

I have no idea if Ms W is guilty to the extent that she is accused or not but I have watched her tried, convicted and thrown away from day one by the media and 99% of bloggers.

Cutting through all the emotional drama and getting down to the facts, the DA seems to be attempting to incite the jury by saying that Ms W was under the influence of meth. This will be interesting because the fact that she was a user doesn’t mean she was under the influence at the time of the accident.

I recall following a serious case where a woman had smoked marijuana the evening prior to a serious accident and she was found not guilty because it was proven that she certainly was not under the influence the next morning (9 hours) after having smoked it. The active drug was not in her system any longer and the same goes for all drugs although some certainly effect us longer than others. I have to wonder about MS W because I am convinced that she has been railroaded because she hit a CHP officer.

I don’t like the fact that she uses that dangerous, illegal drug anymore than the next person but if the jury is smart (and I’m certain they are)this will come down to how fast she was driving and they will not consider her drug use unless it was active in her system at the time of the accident. Accidents happen everyday and many of us drive 10 miles over the speed limit.