Thursday, April 09, 2009

Law in the Netherworld


We would guess this will work about as well at the jury trial as it did at yesterday's bail hearing:
"As to reports of his client appearing drunk with bloodshot eyes at the scene, Stevenson noted that Stewart suffered from pink eye and was anxious because of the severity of the crash."
Pink eye? Pink eye!!?

The popular mystery novelist and former criminal defense lawyer, Phil Margolin, once confided to us that in the netherworld of defending drunk driving charges, at bottom there are only two defenses. The first one he called "the little black dog excuse," as in 'I swerved to avoid a little black dog.' The second one, Margolin said, is "the pink eye defense," as in 'That's why my eyes were red.'

Life imitates art, once again.

4-9 pm

Looks like "pink eye" might be a lifelong condition -- at least for manslaughter defendant Joseph Stewart. Stewart used to live in Navarre. Now he lives in the Santa Rosa County jail, without bond while awaiting trial.

Last week, Stewart allegedly struck one vehicle on Highway 98, moved on down the road a mile or more, then hit another one, killing one occupant and putting the other one in intensive care. He told the judge yesterday he was suffering from "pink eye" and "nervousness."

It must be a chronic condition that's plagued him for years. According to the new issue of Gulf Breeze News. Stewart "has a long history of run-ins with the law in seven Florida counties."
Stewart, State Attorney's Office records show, has been arrested in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Polk, Pinellas, Volusia, Orange and Osceola counties. He's been ticketed nine times for moving violations, five of which were for speeding. Two charges were for driving with a suspended license.

Also, records show Stewart has completed substance-abuse and DUI schools.

Pink eye. A terrible thing to have.

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