Michigan Man Faces Florida OWI Causing Death Charges

Trial in OWI Causing Death Set for May

In early 2010, Richard Lee Hall crashed his Chevy Corvette into a metal pole and section of fence along the US 1 Highway in the Florida Keys while he was drunk. Bernie Snyder, who was sitting in the passenger seat at the time and not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the vehicle and killed. Now, 5 years later the Michigan native may finally have to face OWI causing death charges in Florida.

According to court documents, Hall was arrested three months later in May of 2010. The arrest warrant cited that his blood alcohol content was at .104 some hours after the crash. Like Michigan, Florida law considers .08 to be legally drunk, which would have made Hall a candidate for the “super drunk” law, had he been in Michigan at the time of the crash.

But in the five years since the accident, Hall’s trial has been repeatedly delayed for a number of reasons, including personal health problems and undisclosed family issues suffered by Hall’s defense attorney, William Heffernan. A number of witnesses who were meant to testify in the trial have since left the state, complicating things further.

And there was also the issue of the misunderstanding with the Bond Agency. Hall was apparently arrested again in 2013 on two felony charges for failing to appear in court. But as it turns out, it wasn’t Hall’s fault. The Bond Agency based in Miami through which Hall had posted his original bail, had decided not to do business in the Florida Keys any longer.

As a result, Hall was considered to be “off bail” and was expected to surrender himself to authorities in Florida. Because Hall was back in Michigan at the time, he drove all the way back to Florida to surrender himself and the presiding judge reevaluated the situation and allowed Hall to post bail for a second time.

At this point, according to Hall’s attorney, Hall is once again back in Michigan and is eager to get moving on the trial. Hall is apparently wearing a SCRAM bracelet, which is a remote alcohol monitor that detects alcohol through sweat. Heffernan says that a number of witnesses have been subpoenaed, depositions have been taken, and the trial has been tentatively scheduled for the month of May. If convicted, Hall faces time in prison.

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