Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Sep 21, 2012 05:12 pm CDT
A postal truck driver has been acquitted on charges of leaving the scene of an accident that killed the sister-in-law of Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Ian Clement, 63, was found not guilty by a jury Thursday after less than a day of deliberations, the New York Daily News reports.
“I’m relieved,” Clement said after hearing the verdict.
Clement had been charged with the leaving the scene of the July 2011 accident that killed Marilyn Dershowitz, 68. A private practice mediator, she was killed after she fell off her bike on a Manhattan street and was run over by the rear wheel of Clement’s truck.
Clement claimed he didn’t know he had hit anyone. But prosecutors said he must have known because he stopped his truck about 20 feet away from the spot where Dershowitz had been hit, then drove off. Clement reported the accident to his supervisors a few hours later.
Clement’s lawyer, John Arlia, had argued the case would never have been brought but for pressure put on prosecutors by Alan Dershowitz and his brother, Nathan, Marilyn Dershowitz’s husband, who is also a lawyer. Prosecutors said the decision to prosecute was based solely on the facts, pointing out that 33 people this year have been charged with the same offense.
Nathan Dershowitz said after the verdict he believed Clement was responsible for his wife’s death and should have been charged with a more serious crime.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t part of the prosecution team,” he said.