My father was killed in 2007 and the person responsible paid a $25 fine and suffered no other legal consequences.

On January 11, 2007 my 95 year old father was traveling north on Centerville Road in Wilmington, Delaware. As he entered an intersection, a woman driving an SUV ran a stop sign and hit my father’s car with enough force that he was critically injured. She told a police officer that she had stopped at the stop sign but, in later months, two independent accident reconstructions indicated this to be incorrect.   While my father was being transported to the hospital, the woman was issued a ticket for “failing to remain stopped.” A week later she mailed in the $25 fine and a week after that my father died from his injuries.  The Delaware Department of Justice refused to prosecute the woman for my father’s death.

Whether she should have been prosecuted is not the issue here, but rather the inconsistency with which Delaware and some other states consider prosecution of similar incidents.  In my opinion, there is a need for reform as a means to protect the rights of victims and ensure fairness.  I have no interest in passing new motor vehicle laws.  They are fine as they stand now.  The issue here is inconsistency in prosecution.

The purpose of this website is to:

  • Promote fairer treatment of crime victims
  • Push for greater integrity and consistency in the Delaware Department of Justice’s prosecution of cases similar to my father’s.
  • Bring the subject of victim’s rights and the conduct of the Justice Department to the attention of the average citizen so that we may either change the Justice System in Delaware or those in charge of it.

Eugene Hamilton
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Washington College
Chestertown, MD

Dr. Hamilton’s job title and employer are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute any endorsement or recommendation of this website or its content by Washington College.

12 Responses to “Home”

  • Tari Renner:

    Thank you for calling attention to one of the many problems in our contemporary criminal ‘justice’ system. The behavior of Delaware’s Department of Justice has been absolutely and totally irresponsible in this – and, I’m sure, other situations. The Internet is one way we can help to get these bureaucrats to do their job in the broader interest of decency and true justice – not political expediency.

  • Lisa Noetzel:

    Shame on the DE Department of Justice !! And shame on the DE police for not issuing a ticket for vehicular manslaughter !! Not everyone dies immediately from a traffic accident, as was clearly the case with your father.

    Human life should be valued more than a $25 fine!

    • Abby Coverly:

      The police are not always to blame. In my father’s case the police charged my father’s killer with criminally negligent homicide. It was the AG’s office that changed the charges. They were afraid they wouldn’t win the case. My father’s justice wasn’t worth fighting for in their precarious, incompetent minds.

      • eugene:

        I don’t think the AG’s office didn’t prosecute because they thought they couldn’t win the case. The case of State v. Elliott (which was referenced in the Supreme Court Decision in Hazzard v. Delaware) established a clear precedent. In that case the judge stated that an operator of a motor vehicle is required to maintain “an effective lookout” and that if he doesn’t and causes injury to another, it is criminally negligent. Elliott was convicted of Manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison. If anything, Keiser’s conduct was more negligent than Elliott’s. The Elliott accident occurred at night, while the Keiser homicide occurred in broad daylight. There was nothing in the Elliott case comparable to driving 115 feet with the victim on the hood. I suspect that the true reason they didn’t prosecute was Keiser’s role as a police informant. What I find at least as offensive as the nonprosecution of our fathers’ killers is the dishonesty of the officials in the Justice Department towards us. It seems to me that at the very minimum a crime victim should expect honesty from the Justice Department.

        P.S. There has been a recent case from this past January (which is included on the Tips page of this website) of Latika Wright, which is eerily similar to the Keiser case. Wright hit somebody on a scooter and didn’t stop for quite some distance; she was dragging the nine year old kid the whole time. Interestingly, the DOJ charged Wright with vehicular homicide second degree rather than with OMVCD. I find the department’s lack of consistency and competence rather breathtaking.

  • Nina Shahin:

    Regrettably, the DE AG office is not of the highest professional standards. It is bad in cases that need criminal prosecution; it is worse in civil cases. I have close to ten civil rights cases (discrimination in employment) filed under Title VII and Age in Discrimination in Employment. The Deputy Attorneys falsified and misrepresented the law applicable to my case. Yet there is no any way that those DAGs can be held responsible. Regrettably, judicial system in the First State and the US in general is very corrupt. Victims rights are proclaimed but not respected. I personally delivered my Petition for Writ of Ceriorari to the US Supreme Court during the week of Victim’s rights but my Petition was denied. Now the Supreme Court has another Petition that has clear evidence that the victims of crimes are victimized again and again without any punishment whatsoever.

    • eugene:

      Thanks for your input. The State Prosecutor, Richard Andrews, has been nominated to be a federal district court judge for the State of Delaware. This past Thursday, Sept. 8, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved him and several other nominees in a voice vote without discussion. Mr. Andrews is, without question, one of the most dishonest people I have ever met. I am working to prevent his confirmation by the Senate. It will be a sad day for the people of Delaware if this unethical, unprofessional lawyer becomes a judge.

  • Nina Shahin:

    I am writing two letters with a copy of your Open Letter to the Delaware Senators Carpet and Coons. If you do not vote for them I do. By the way my husband, Mazen Shahin is a professor of Math and Computer Science at Delaware State University. Just this year I have filed six Petitions for Writ of Certiorari, fiver of which are still pending. All because the Cief Justice of the Federal District Court is corrupt. No less corrupt was another judge S. Robinson who falsified the RICO Act in her decision regarding my lawsuit against the DE state judges. Now all my cases (close to 10) are transferred to a new Judge, Stark, who immediately dismissed three of my cases, all of which I will take up to the US Supreme Court.

    Copies of my letters to the Senators I will mail to you. You can use them any way you see fit.

    • eugene:

      Thank you for sending copies of my letter to Senators Carper and Coons. There is an organization that might be helpful to you in your efforts to improve the integrity of the Delaware Judicial System. Its called Judgewatch. There is a link to it on the Resources page of my website.

  • Nina Shahin:

    I tried to use their help but they do not respond. By the way, after I mailed those letters the DE Supreme Court denied my appeal in the case in which I disputed the raise of my RE taxes proving that the City of Dover used fraudulent data on square footage and national origin discrimination in the assessment of taxes. The DE Supreme Court refused to consider issue of discrimination on the basis that the City of Dover had no opportunity to consider the issue. It is absurd because the City of Dover actually tried to conceal from me the existence of the transcript of my hearing at the City Hall where the discussion of the reason of my assessment was made in my absence and behind my back. I filed my Petition for Rehearing and also my request with the federal district office of AG in Wilmington under section 42 U.S.C. sec. 2000h-2 ‘Interventation by Attorney General; denial of equal protection on account of rce, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In response to that move the DE Disciplinary Board dismissed my complaints against two attorneys who vioalted DE rules of Professional conduct. The reason for dismissal was rediculous: the Board cannot interefer after the decision of the court was made. When I complained about the same attorney when the case was in court the decision of the same Board was that they cannot interfer before the decision is made. Delaware state is very corrupt state with the “Delaware way’ type of dealings in their courts which means that everything is swept under the rug and the person with deeper pockets always wins. On Monday I am sending three Motions to the Third Circuit Court against the decisions of the district court denying me in forma pauperis status because my husband, professor of mathematics and computer science at DE State refused to provide his financial information. I have long standing legal battles and trying to gather as much documentry evidence of judicial corruption in DE as possible.

    Thanks and regards,

    Nina Shahin

    By the way, I am of Ukrainian origin (born in the former U.S.S.R.) and my husband is Egyptian (his Ph.D. in Mathematics is from Ukrain). In the former U.S.S.R. I was a Ph.D. student specializing in phylosophy of law.

  • Nina Shahin:

    Dear Dr. Hamilton,

    I am reading today in the Wilmington newspaper that Richard G. Andrews has been confirmed as the federal judge. Moreover Carper, and Coons praised his appointment. It is a very sad day today although I did not expect other income. I am very pessimistic now that I have a case against IRS in the federal court and the DE office of AG represents the IRS in that case and what they do to hamper the progress of the case.

    With one of Dover black pastors I am trying to establish an action groups that would fight for social and economic equality including reform of the judicial system.

    My best wishes and regards,

    • eugene:

      Yes, Andrews was confirmed. I am very disappointed with the performance of Sens Coons and Carper. I notified both of them about Mr. Andrews’ dishonesty. They apparently don’t care. There is probably no remedy for Andrews appointment. Hopefully the voters of Delaware will, at some point, hold their senators accountable for their lack of diligence in screening judicial candidates. Mr. Andrews is, without question, one of the most dishonest people I’ve ever met. I’m just glad I don’t live in Delaware.

  • eugene:

    I believe you have missed the point of the website. The point is not the severity of punishment; it is consistency in application of the law. I never have had any interest in sending the woman that killed my father to jail; I merely wanted a conviction for either Vehicular Homicide, Criminally Negligent Homicide, or Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing Death. The punishment for these crimes usually consists of a suspended sentence, so that no jail time is actually served. What happened in this case was that the woman who hit my father told a police officer that she stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded into the intersection. She stated that she never saw my father’s car. I have no doubt that this last assertion is correct. But she should have seen him. He had his headlights on, he was obeying the speed limit, and there are no obstructions at the intersection so he was quite visible. Her statement that she stopped at the stop sign is false. I had an accident reconstruction done at my own expense. She hit my father’s car at 42 MPH. In order to reach this speed in the 28 feet from the stop sign to the point of impact, she had to be going at least 37 MPH at the stop sign. The speed limit there is 25 MPH. So there were at least three violations: she ran the stop sign, she was going more than 50% over the speed limit, and she failed to yield the right of way to my father, who did not have a stop sign. She then went on to make a false statement to the police officer, which is a misdemeanor. The officer wrote her a traffic ticket for “failing to remain stopped”, which carries a $25 fine. She mailed the ticket in a week later. In the meantime my father was taken to the hospital, where he died two weeks later. Neither the police nor the Department of Justice have ever informed the woman that she caused a death; the only consequence to her was the payment of the $25 fine.

    As I stated above, I have never sought any more than a conviction for the actual offense, which was not “failing to remain stopped”. If her treatment was consistent with that of other people with similar offenses, I would find that acceptable. But it is not. There was another case virtually identical to this one in which the perpetrator was charged with and pled guilty to OMVCD. He was sent to prison for 6 months and had his license suspended for 3 years. There was another case of a woman who stopped at a red light and then proceeded into the intersection when the light turned green. Her car was T-boned by a school bus running a red light. She was severely injured and her companion was killed. She was charged with OMVCD (by the same prosecutor who refused to charge my father’s killer). While she tried to fight the charges, she had very limited financial means and eventually pleaded guilty to the charge.

    I find the behavior of the Delaware Department of “Justice” far more reprehensible than that of the woman who killed my father. I have been in communication with the prosecutor assigned to my father’s case. I sent him a copy of the accident reconstruction I had commissioned. Eleven weeks later, he sent me a letter in which he announced he was closing the case without prosecution. He stated that he had had a second accident reconstruction performed by the New Castle County Police. His letter seemed to imply that the conclusions of the police accident reconstruction differed from those of my accident reconstruction. When I obtained a copy of the police report two months later, I learned that their reconstruction had reached the same conclusion as mine. His letter contained other false or misleading statements. I appealed his decision to State Prosecutor, Richard Andrews. To date, I have caught Mr. Andrews in six outright lies. In addition, the Justice Department has broken several promises they have made to me; some members of the department have actually been rude to me. Over a year ago, I filed complaints with the department against John Downs (the prosecutor assigned to my father’s case) and State Prosecutor Richard Andrews for their dishonesty. To date I have had no response regarding the complaints. I have never before encountered an organization as lacking in integrity as the Delaware Department of Justice.

    The point of the website is that the Justice Department needs to be reformed. They should be required to enforce the law in a consistent manner and to be honest in their dealings with crime victims and relatives of crime victims.

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