Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This article in Velonews talks about how the Eagle County (Colorado) District Attorney is trying to prevent the victim of a horrible car on bicycle hit and run incident from testifying at a hearing addressing a proposed plea bargain with the driver.

For those unfamiliar with the case, here is what supposedly happened:

Mercedes driving wealth fund manager hits and seriously injures doctor who was riding his bike. Driver then does a bunch of things that make it clear he knew he hit someone, yet later denies knowing he hit anyone. And then blames it on sleep apnea. And then blames it on "new car smell" (no joke). Doctor suffers serious head and spinal injuries (view photos at above link at your own risk).

After charging the driver with a felony and two misdemeanors, District Attorney Mark Hurlburt agreed to drop the felony charge in exchange for guilty pleas to the misdemeanors. Hulbert also observed that “felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession.”

Only the driver, Martin Erzinger, knows what his thought process was that day, and what really happened. I do not blame him, nor his attorney, for mounting a vigorous legal defense. That is how the system works.

Without knowing the admissible evidence involved in the case, I also can't comment on whether the plea agreement was a good idea. Prosecutors are faced with tough choices every day, and the often ignorant and fickle public has been known to hate plea deals, but they also hate it when prosecutors go "all the way" and lose due to lack of evidence or a boneheaded jury.

If D.A. Hurlburt weighed the strengths and weaknesses of the state's case and made an informed decision based on the risks of losing, then I would have no problem with the plea deal, as distasteful as it may be. The problem is, he did not. He instead admitted that the effect of a felony on Erzinger's record helped sway his decision.

What he was saying, of course, was that he is less inclined to charge a rich businessman with a felony when compared to a common criminal. The ignorance of this statement is mind boggling in light of the obvious fact that a felony makes virtually anyone unemployable in the minds of most employers, whether the employer is an investment bank or Burger King.

Maybe armed robbers in Vail should also not be charged with felonies because, you know, how will they support their families with that on their record? Or drug dealers. Or sexual predators.

I also find this excerpt from his bio to be quite offensive, given the fact that he is spending taxpayer money to deprive the victim of this crime the chance to speak at the plea deal hearing:

As an experienced prosecutor, Mark knows it is important not to simply secure convictions, but to seek justice. He makes victims a priority and is dedicated to providing victims a strong voice in the justice system.

This might be the most disturbing and embarrassing legal story I have read in a while.

Monday, December 13, 2010

He's back

It has now been five weeks since Reuben's emergency bloat surgery, and about six weeks since his Addison's diagnosis. Dr. Mike has lifted all restrictions for him. His coat is back to normal, and he no longer looks like a bag of bones.

I had been taking him on walks up to two miles until the weather recently turned sour. Now it will be basement agility sessions until the grass reappears in the backyard, whenever that may be.

Five weeks ago I was driving 85 mph on I-271 on a Sunday morning, not sure if he was going to even make it to the vet hospital. Now I am doing agility with him again.

As far as I am concerned, this is all gravy.

Pretty soon, we should be back doing this at trials:

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I have officially entered the WLC2K11 (Weight Loss Challenge 2011), which is a gentleman's wager amongst a few of us bike riding types. The concept is simple: We all throw some cash into the pot, and the one of us with the highest percentage of starting body weight lost after a March 1, 2011 weigh-in wins the whole pot.

My goal seems modest compared to the goals being thrown around by the others, so I suspect that I am not a favorite to win the grand prize and its accompanying fame and fortune.

However, participating does improve winter motivation, especially when the weather is putrid and riding inside sounds less than appealing.

Time to scour the library website for more movies to request for these indoor sessions.

This is shaping to up to be a long winter.