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Driver charged in Lansdowne baby death will not face trial

John Miller IV
The driver charged with killing Lansdowne baby Tristan Schulz will not stand trial before jury but will enter pleas to the remaining charges of reckless driving and failure to yield.

John Miller IV was slated to stand trial by jury beginning Oct. 10. Miller's attorney Steve T. Webster told to the Times-Mirror this week the trial has been removed from the docket.

Miller will instead enter pleas to the remaining charges.

“He intends to enter no contest plea to the reckless driving charge and a guilty plea to the failure to yield right of way to a pedestrian,” Webster said.

Five-month-old Tristan died on Aug. 31, 2016, when a car driven by Miller struck his stroller, which was being pushed by Tristan's mother, Mindy. The two were crossing the Riverside Parkway and Coton Manor Drive intersection. Miller was indicted in November 2016 on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and failure to yield right of way to a pedestrian.

But on Sept. 5, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Sincavage granted the commonwealth's attorney's request to drop the involuntary manslaughter charge in the case against Miller.

Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman (R) told the court that when the involuntary manslaughter charge was presented to the Grand Jury in November 2016, the prosecution believed Miller had been using his cell phone. Plowman went on to say the cell phone had undergone multiple tests to determine if it had been in use at the time of the crash. “There was no direct human engagement,” Plowman said. He went on to explain how the involuntary manslaughter charge was now “not supported by probable cause” and neither the evidence or case law supported it.

The jury trial was expected to last 10 days.

Webster said Miller will enter the pleas on Oct. 10.

Comments


A non distracted driver mows down a young mother and kills a infant in a crosswalk legally and gets a reckless driving. So if the young girl in sterling would have just been run over with a car by the ms13 gang member he would be walking free? Time to buy a suit and get a scope on the front of your car hood.
God help America, we are a nation morally lost in law and privilege. I say good day sir!


I am not saying he was not at fault but if you read the article Plowman says it all.  Blame the law.  Put the blame where it belongs.

Plowman said. He went on to explain how the involuntary manslaughter charge was now “not supported by probable cause” and neither the evidence or case law supported it.


We all know he didn’t kill anyone on purpose, but that’s not the point. The mother and her child were in the crossing lane legally, they certainly weren’t jaywalking. He may not have seen them, that’s true…but if he wasn’t speeding to turn left that wouldn’t have happened. He’s still at fault for killing someone who was legally crossing the road.

However…is it possible that both the crosswalk signal and his traffic signal were both green at the same time? If so, that would mean VDOT has a lot to answer for…or maybe that’s why it’s not going to trial.


Was there ever any doubt that Mr. Miller would skate from this incident with only the most marginal charges? From the moment this white, privileged suburbanite rang his lawyer on speed dial, he was scot-free. An upwardly mobile guy on his way to his country club job was never going to be charged with killing another human being with his car, even though they had more of a right to be where they were than he did. I hope Mr. Miller can sleep at night.


Hopefully the family files a wrongful death suit against John Miller and milks him for every nickel and all future earnings.


If he wasn’t on his cell phone, doesn’t that make it worse?


So accidentally killing someone is only involuntary manslaughter if you’re on your phone at the time?

Can somebody with legal knowledge explain why that matters?


Golden…. if you run anyone over in a cross walk and kill them… regardless of being on a phone or not… I would expect more then a reckless driving ticket…. right?


Fine—but make the inevitable community service meaningful…

1)  Work in the pediatric ER at INOVA—see what grieving parents go through every day;

2)  Address the Driver’s ED class at every high school in Loudoun and tell them what you did;

3)  Tend Tristan’s roadside memorial,

Don’t let this guy leave the county to do his service—make him stay right here.  Make the service relevant to what he did—don’t even think about “free golf lessons for kids.” 

As many of us have thought for some time, this was the likely outcome from the moment he jumped on his phone and called his lawyer at the scene of the accident.  Fine—give him community service that will be emotionally difficult and appropriate for the agony he has caused.


What does it matter who he worked for or if he has money?  He was not on his cell phone at the time of the accident. Do you actually think he paid off the cell phone company to alter his records?

Emotions and anger do not proof guilt or win trials.


Well if you Google who he works for, privileged all the way around. I’m sure the PGA doesn’t want their named dragged through the mud either. The family will continue to suffer and get paid millions and life will go on.


An accidental death, money and walk. Miller will indeed pay for this for the rest of his life.  Just the memory of what happened and his role in the loss of life will forever follow him. I can’t argue with the outcome because I wasn’t there to understand the facts, but I really hope the family has some type of closure to what must have been one year of emotional hell.  I imagine Miller and his family had a horrible year as well, but to have lost a child is unimaginable.  I pray for the Schultz family to finally have some peace and as for Miller, not sure, but I would start with asking for forgiveness from this family. Anything less presents you as the uncaring, selfish person that hid behind his car over one-year ago.  Are you better than that or are you that guy?


I hope Skyprince never sits on a jury to decide a persons fate.  The eveidence showed that he was not on his phone when the accident happened. How do you think that money played a part in a cell phone company’s records?  Did he buy them off?


If he wasn’t proven to be using the phone while driving, then they are absolutely right that he shouldn’t be charged with involuntary manslaughter.  It was a horrible accident that isn’t going to be made any better by making this person sit in jail.


Money talks…this clown walks…but every day he wakes up…he will be haunted with that baby’s last moment of life…and his justice will come when he takes his last breath. Terrible justice in this country…I feel sorry for the family..this guy should be in prison plain and simple..have a nice life..you know where you belong…


I have no problem with this outcome.  However, when failure to yield to a pedestrian can result in death, the maximum fine should be higher than $500.


Must be nice to have connections.


Wow, just wow.

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