Small Town Justice

Number 24164
Subject Wrongful Convictions
Source WTVT-TV (Tampa, Fla.)
State FL
Year 2008
Publication Date 1/27/2008; 4/08/2008; 4/09/2008; 4/18/2008; 6/18/2008
Summary Jean Claude Meus was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Florida Highway Patrol put together evidence showing Meus fell asleep at the wheel, lost control of his semi truck and overturned on minivan, killing a mother and daughter. The investigative team interviewed the first witness on the scene of the accident, who said Meus was alert and helpful immediately after the crash. Using evidence obtained from measurements, photos, etc., the asked an outside expert to map the scene and reconstruct the crash. The conclusion? Meus was awake and intentionally steered his truck off the roadway. The story fit with what Meus said, that he had swerved to avoid an oncoming car and lost control before overturning onto the van. When two jurors on the case agreed to meet with the new team and look at the new evidence, they concluded they would not have been able to convict Meus if this information had been presented at trial.
Category Contest Entry
Pages 19
Keywords wrongful conviction; Florida; vehicular homicide; reconstructed evidence; mapping; highway patrol
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