Michigan criminal defense attorney

Teenager Charged with Murder After Bragging on Twitter

Teenager Charged with Murder After Bragging on Twitter

What do you share on your social media sites?

Detroit is an exciting place to be this weekend. Classic cars are filling the streets and people are lined up along Woodward Avenue watching the cars drive by. The Woodward Dream Cruise is one of the world’s largest one-day automotive events that draws over 1 million people and 40,000 classic cars from around the world. If you’ve never been, this weekend is perfect for it.

Today, we are looking at another story about how social media has a bigger impact that we realize. What was probably meant as comical remark on a Twitter account has become the reason that one teenager is being charged with murder.

Cody Hall is the 18-year-old from California that was originally charged with vehicular manslaughter when the prosecutors read his Twitter post and decided to up the charge to murder.

It all started with Cody driving 80 mph in a 40 mph zone. Cody hit a couple riding their bikes. While the husband only broke his arm, the wife lost her life. It seems like this wasn’t the first time Cody was driving over the speed limit.

Cody was originally charged with vehicular manslaughter, but once the prosecutors saw his driving record along with his Twitter post where he shared how much he liked to drive fast, the prosecutors changed to charge to murder.

Here is what the Huffington Post reported about the Tweets helping to up the charges,

“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.

The article proceeds to explain that Welch continued to explain that what makes this case unique are the tweets. They will serve as “pre-offense statement”. This is often the case with a handwritten letter or an email or text message that are used to “bolster prosecutors’ attempt to prove malice.”

Social media is playing more and more of a role in criminal cases. It is a good reminder that what we put out there is out there forever and we cannot be sure how it will affect our futures. This case is also a reminder that speeding is a serious offense and can bring horrific consequences.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that social media tweets should be used to “bolster prosecutors” cases?

This article was published on: August 16, 2013 and was last modified August 20, 2013