Calif. man's charge upped to murder after boasting about speeding on Twitter

16.08.2013 16:57

An 18-year-old
accused of killing a bicyclist with his car
has had a vehicular manslaughter charge
upgraded to murder in part because he
boasted about speeding on Twitter,
prosecutors said Thursday.
Cody Hall, of Pleasanton, was being held
without bail after he was charged
Wednesday with the murder of 58-year-
old Diana Hersevoort, the San Francisco
Chronicle and Oakland Tribune reported.
Hall was going more than 80 mph in a 40
mph zone when he hit Hersevoort and her
husband along a busy boulevard in Dublin
on June 9, prosecutors allege.
Hersevoort's husband only broke an arm,
but she was killed.
An analysis of Hall's driving record, along
with Twitter posts in which he discussed
how fast he liked to drive, persuaded
prosecutors to change the charge to
murder, the Alameda County district
attorney's office told the Chronicle.
Prosecutors did not immediately reply to
messages left by The Associated Press, and
a Twitter account apparently belonging to
Hall is restricted from public view.
Brian Welch, a supervisor of the homicide
unit at the Santa Clara County district
attorney's office who is not involved in
this case, told the Tribune that in most
circumstances, fatal crashes result in
murder charges when the suspect was
recklessly fleeing police or was a drunken
driver with previous convictions, not
because of something like a Twitter feed.
Welch said in this case it is likely the
tweets will serve as what's called a "pre-
offense statement," often an email,
handwritten note or text message, used to
bolster prosecutors' attempt to prove
"The challenge in these situations is
proving that your defendant is the person
who posted the statement," he said.
Neither the newspapers nor The
Associated Press could reach an attorney
for Hall for comment.