I pit rock-throwers (lame)

I didn’t see any pit thread on this one, so I’ll bite. Recently, and not too far from my home in Knoxville, three young men (aged 19-21 or so) dropped a rock off of an overpass above I-75. For those not in the know, I-75 is one of Americas biggest north-south interstates.

The “little joke” went awry when the heavy rock smahed into a woman returning from West Virginia. They were very close to home themselves. Barbara Weimer’s face was smashed to bitts. She died at the scene.

In some ways the Pit is late because at least one of the men has been charged and convicted of first degree murder. The jury apparently accpted that a heavy rock tossed from an overpass counted as a “destructive device” under the law.*

I personally disagree and hope he wins a lesser sentence on appeal, but that’s neither here nor there.



Sorry. We now return to your regularly scheduled pitting.



The three of them should be hanged from the very overpass from which they threw the rock. Their families should be charged for the rope.

Oh, let’s make it here, whayasay? Why in the world do you think that something that can smash a car window and do this–

does not qualify as a destructive device? If the kid had beat her head in with a baseball bat would that have been first degree murder? What’s the difference?

Count me in for thinking that they should definitely be charged with first degree murder.

I don’t think they were clearing the road above and accidentally threw it over. I’m sure they tried to hit the car. But I don’t they wanted someone to die.

Morgan admitted to throwing the rock and came foward on his own. (I think, the article isn’t exactly clear)

IANAL but it sounds like second degree murder to me.

“Reckless homicide” is, I believe, a more appropriate charge, but after hearing the details of the case I hope the sentences which fall under such aren’t too less severe.

The matter of discussing whether 10 pound rocks and bricks can be considered a “destructive device” though sounds ludicrous. How can that even be debated, considering what happened to that poor woman’s face.

A few years ago I saw a case very much like this on CourtTV. The judge reasoned that since the boys went off to get bigger and bigger rocks, their act was very deliberate. And for some reason, since the victim was physically attractive, the act was all the more heinous. The kid got life. He was spared the DP. Personally, I think a sentence of 10-25 would have been more appropriate.

GD thread:
Is a 10-Lb Rock a Destructive Device?

Hear, hear, brother.

Screw this shit about them not deserving murder one charges–if they didn’t stop to think about it, then they deserve to be locked up to protect the rest of us from the NEXT thing they don’t stop to think about.

There was another case recently where a woman was hit not by rocks but a container of acid. Boy, and I originally thought the chain link fence you see along many overpasses was for the protection of the pedestrian.

I don’t think it is a “destructive device” because I believe the actual intent of the law was to cover specific devices, such as a bomb. Something which was made specifically to kill people and destroy objects.

They certainly deserve 2nd Degree murder charges, which are no cakewalk.

I am so going to Hell for how I read that.

Agreed. If something as simple as a rock counts as a destructive device, then what doesn’t? Seems to make the distinction with other murder methods sort of meaningless.

I’m not sure I get this. If I dropped a rock from hight onto someones head, surely that is 1st degree murder. If I smash someones head in with the same rock in my hand it is definately first degree murder.
If I drop a rock from hight attempting to scare someone, but by mistake the rock hits them and kills them, is that first degree murder?

Different states have different ways to construe the homicide laws.

It was not “premeditated murder” in the sense that they didn’t intentionally throw rocks with the purpose of killing someone.

It was most definitely some kind of homicide (murder 2nd degree, voluntary manslaughter, whatever) in that they threw rocks on passing cars with malice aforethought, with the intention of causing accidents in which people could get killed.

Convict them. Lock them up for a good long time. (Life? 25 years? That’s a judgment call.)

That you need to say that it wasn’t murder one, premeditiated killing of a specific person, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a heinous crime. It surely was. That’s why we have murder two and manslaughter and malicious homicide and the rest of those laws – for people who kill other people by doing stupid, malicious things like this.

From the University of Memphis Law Review:

I don’t know, I’m torn about this (as I was about the guy who used the defib on a fellow EMT). I think that people are pretty stupid about things. I don’t know that people who stupidly kill other people (even though they really ought to have known better) are the heinous monsters that some would paint them. After all, they are not intentionally killing people.

There is a point at which a person should be responsible for his/her own stupid/ignorant actions, but killing people or locking them up for life for what is clearly plain stupidity doesn’t seem right to me.

It’s about time. Maybe this will discourage other idiots from doing the same.
There’s no reason why he should get a lesser sentence. There is no way that anyone with half a brain cell in their heads wouldn’t realize that tossing a rock, especially a large one, at a car, can kill someone. If you play with matches, don’t be surprised when the house burns down. He made his bed and now it’s time to lie in it, IMO.

Welcome to the AFG cliché festival. :smiley:

All joking aside, I probably would have pushed for Reckless Endangerment and Second Degree Murder but I can understand what the jury decided. Trying to discourage other idiots from doing the same.