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Police upgrade charges in bicyclist death after seeing teen bragged about speeding on Twitter

Posted Aug 15, 2013 12:05 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Prosecutors have upgraded charges against a California youth accused in the death of a bicyclist after the teen bragged about speeding on Twitter.

Eighteen-year-old Cody Hall of Pleasanton was originally charged with vehicular manslaughter in the June 9 death of bicyclist Diana Hersevoort, report the San Francisco Chronicle, the Pleasanton Weekly and the Pleasanton Patch.

The stories say the charge was upgraded to murder, though the Chronicle appears to say Hall was charged with second-degree murder when it discusses the requirements for such a charge. To obtain a conviction for second-degree murder, prosecutors must show "implied malice" that a driver engaged in an intentional, unlawful act done with conscious disregard for the risk to human life.

The Chronicle says prosecutors upgraded the charge because of the tweets and an analysis of Hall’s driving record and pattern. Police say Hall was traveling 83 miles per hour, more than double the speed limit, when he passed a car, lost control of his car, and struck Hersevoort and her husband, who survived the accident.

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