Mistrial on most serious counts in street racing deaths
A Prince George's County on Monday night deadlocked on the most serious charges facing one of the drivers in an illegal street race that killed eight people in Accokeek almost two years ago.
Tavon Taylor, 20, of Waldorf was charged with eight counts of vehicular manslaughter and other offenses. But the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on those counts, causing a mistrial. Taylor was conviicted of illegal racing and reckless driving.
He will be sentenced Tuesday on the lesser charges and prosecutors said they would re-try Taylor again on the more serious counts.
The man Taylor was racing, Darren J. Bullock, 22, already pleaded guilty to eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and faces 15 years in prison.
According to court papers filed by prosecutors, Taylor admitted to police that he was racing Bullock the night of the accident.
Authorities have said two unrelated street races led to the accident, and a statement of facts read into the court record by Assistant State's Attorney Wes Adams when Bullock pleaded guilty supports that scenario.
Adams said Bullock was driving a white Crown Victoria that, according to witnesses, was traveling between 80 and 100 mph when it struck the victims. They had wandered onto the road after watching an unrelated illegal street race on Route 210 in Accokeek about 3 a.m. Feb. 16, 2008.
Bullock was heading southbound on Route 210, trailed by a dark green Mercury Marquis, which prosecutors allege was driven by Taylor.
Spectators who had watched two other drivers take off in the previous race began to wander onto the road, Adams said. The Mercury Marquis was behind the Crown Victoria by 10 to 65 feet. The Marquis stopped before making contact with spectators, Adams said.
The victims suffered blunt-force crushing injuries from being struck by the Crown Victoria, Adams said. Some of the victims were further injured when they flew into the air and slammed against the car's hood or smashed onto the ground, Adams said.
Washington Post editors
March 1, 2010; 8:02 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Pr. George's , Ruben Castaneda
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