Semi-Truck Driver Vindicated by Not Guilty Verdict in Wrongful Death Case
Gregory E. Stone and Leslie Blozan obtained an outright defense verdict in a Wrongful Death Case on behalf of a Semi-Truck Driver client. In light of civil verdict, the District Attorney dismissed felony manslaughter charges against the same driver.
As reported in the Desert Sun, charges of felony hit-and-run were recently dismissed against Stone | Dean’s client Dixon Russell Dixon, a big rig driver from Victorville involved in a fatality accident involving motorcyclist Frank Yarborough. Dixon was charged with the crime three years after the January, 2011 incident while the civil case against him was pending.
CHP officers initially questioned Dixon at the scene and cleared him of involvement. The following day a witness came forward accusing Dixon of the crime. He was arrested about 2 years after Yarborough’s family filed a civil suit in Riverside County Superior Court. During the civil case, discovery was clandestinely provided to the prosecutors by the family’s personal injury attorney, also a former San Diego police officer.
Without any notice or any idea he was being investigated criminally, Dixon was shocked when the San Diego CHP surrounded his Victorville home with SWAT style tactics. At gun point he was arrested, incarcerated, and charged with felony hit and run. Thereafter, Dixon had a civil Wrongful Death case pending in Palm Springs at the same time he was being prosecuted for a felony in Indio both arising out of the same incident.
Stone | Dean employed a rare strategy of trying the civil case before the criminal case. According to attorney Gregory Stone, “We opted to try the civil case fist as we wanted to take control and show the prosecutors how weak their case was…the prosecutors were working behind the scenes with the plaintiff’s attorney and seemed to always give his evidence more credibility.”
The civil jury trial lasted 7 days. The case involved multiple conflicting witness accounts and expert testimony. At the conclusion the jury found there was no physical evidence linking Dixon’s truck to Yarborough or his motorcycle. The jury deliberated only 15 minutes before finding in Dixon’s favor.
Upon the conclusion of the civil trial, with a unanimous verdict in favor of Dixon, Riverside County prosecutors agreed to dismiss all charges against Dixon, citing “the interests of justice” and ending Dixon’s five year ordeal.