A new videotape has been found which may aid former New York Yankee Jim Leyritz’s DUI manslaughter case which was to begin this September. In 2007, at about 3:19 a.m. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police claim that Leyritz was drunk and ran a red light, causing an auto accident and killing 30-year-old Freida Veitch of Plantation.
According to the Miami Herald, the videotape, recorder a half block from the accident from a light pole, reveals a time stamp which is sooner than what has been alleged, and could aid Leyritz’s defense by casting doubt on the toxicology results. The defense says that the earlier time span from which the accident occurred would call to question the effect that alcohol had on Leyritz’s driving.
If convicted, Leyritz could face 15 years in prison. He is currently out on bond awaiting trial which, because of the surfacing of this video, may be postponed until as late as January. Leyritz faced legal troubles earlier in July when his ex-wife accused him of domestic battery.
This story Jim Leyritz is unfortunately one of many similar stories of late putting the spotlight on the consequences of drunk driving in South Florida. In March, professional football player Donte Stallworth pled guilty to DUI in an auto accident in Miami Beach, which resulted in the death of a pedestrian. In July, actor Jeffrey Donovan, star of USA’s hit series ‘Burn Notice’ was also arrested in Miami Beach on suspicion of DUI when he almost hit a police car.
South Florida has been a hot spot for celebrities for many years, from professional athletes to stars of the stage and screen. Florida’s beaches and cities known for their nightlife such as Fort Lauderdale and Miami attract visitors from all over the world. However, average citizens and celebrities alike are all subject to the same laws and regulations. Every person is innocent until proven guilty in our legal system and each case must be looked at under its given circumstances. Florida’s laws are in place to assure us that our streets are safe, and that those violators, whether an everyday resident or a high-profile celebrity, will be punished fairly and without any preferential or unreasonably harsh treatment.