LA Road Rage Doctor Guilty!

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Mar 18, 2009
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Ninety5rpm and I have previously had discussions about the ethics of punishing drivers who accidently and non-maliciously kill or maim cyclists. Dr. Thompson is no doubt an upstanding member of his community and has probably done many fine things throughout his life. Unfortunately, his actions in purposely inflicting harm on cyclists will now define him and negate many of those good acts he has done throughout his life. However, unlike the previous discussions that Ninety5rpm and I have had, this act was not his first and was deliberate. That in itself requires some form of punishment. It is always sad to see the effects of this type of punishment on an individual and their family, but the act was deliberate and the judge, not the prosecution, decided on the sentence. Dr. Thompson was not a sacrificial lamb, just unfortunate that he was used to set a standard whereby a message needs to be sent, to both car drivers AND cyclists, that they should share the road and respect each other's rights to use the road safely and sensibly.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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csalapatas said:
Maybe the intensity of the ER caused his stress level to explode that particular morning.

Being under stress is not an excuse to deliberately severely injure two people. He deserves what he got.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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csalapatas said:
I was in the courtroom yesterday and witnessed the destruction of a doctor...

SO GENTLEMEN - REMEMBER MY WORDS WELL EVERY TIME LIFE BEGINS TO FAIL YOU... Oh yeah - enjoy your bike ride...

I am quite sure that Dr Thompson has done many wonderful things throughout his life. I imagine he has saved many lives in the ER, and this sentence will prevent him from saving many more. But he has to be held accountable for his bad actions just as he was previously held in regard for his good acts. Dr Thompson was tried in an impartial court and found guilty. Sure, the prosecution likely painted a one-sided picture of his character, just like the defence spoke only of his kind deeds. That happens at trial every day. I found the 5 yr jail term too harsh, but I agree with the lifetime driving prohibition. No matter what caused his stress, Dr Thompson reacted by using his car as a weapon and he should never again drive. As for the cyclists, they are entitled to compensation for their injuries and costs, but hopefully they don't profit from this.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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Csalapatas has been posting rants about the case on numerous forums. The last time around was when the verdict came down. No doubt this has been pasted around the forums once again.

And if anyone wonders why she's so interested in the case, she lives in a $15 million home in the neighborhood where this all happened.
 

laura.weislo

Administrator
Mar 4, 2009
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I understand this is an emotional issue on both sides, but I'm going have to warn you all right now to avoid name-calling in your responses to csalapatas and vice versa. Opinion and facts are fine, but please do not let this degenerate into personal attacks on either side.

Thanks,
Forum moderators.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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csalapatas, you are certainly entitled to an opinion right or wrong. The Dr on the stand said he was very,very sorry for his actions and thought about his life as a whole not just the the distracted and angry driver and homeowner. The cyclists involved are again distressed knowing that lots of people are damaged or ruined as a result of a car crash. Nobody won in this case,as per the people involved. A couple of blogs and sites see the Dr's punishment as a call to arms for every would be frustrated redneck behind the wheel. Another cycle of a behavior with no winners. The Dr was judged by an impartial jury, auto drivers,homeowners,mom's and dad's and probably not too many bike riders.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
csalapatas said:
I was in the courtroom yesterday and witnessed the destruction of a doctor, who has served the public for over 30 years. The court, and "holier than though" Prosecutor, choose to use Dr. Thompson as an example. They offered him up to the biking community as a form of revenge to an ongoing problem. The sacrificial lamb...

I can easily state this, judging by other sentences issued to REALLY EVIL individuals, who have done much worse than Dr. Thompson. His words were construed to mean something that they might not have meant at all - and that's what this case hung its hat on. The biking community feels that it owns the road and that Joe Public should stay out of their way and yield to their pleasure.

They have taken this poor man, who was returning home from an all night shift in the ER - only destroyed his life, but the life of his family. I guess it wasn't enough for Peterson (cyclist) and his crew to destroy this man. Yes, HE HAS LOST HIS HOME TO FORECLOSURE, HIS RIGHT TO PRACTICE MEDICINE AND, THE JUDGE DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD ADD MORE ICING TO THE CAKE - HE LOST THE RIGHT TO DRIVE A VEHICLE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Yet, murderers and rapists just get their life's back - no problem...

Because of a medical condition regarding his heart, it came under testimony by his father, a well-respected 85 year old surgeon, that his son might not even make it through the cruel, and over-harsh, 5 YEAR SENTENCE THAT SOME MURDERERS AND RAPISTS DON'T GET.

Obviously, the proper sentence should have involved community service and anger management - allowing him to continue to help those who are sick. A nurse came forward to say how Dr. Thompson had taught her daughter how to play piano at no charge. The girl was tragically killed at 18 - Dr. Thompson has continued to selflessly send flowers to her grave over the years. Yet, the Prosecutor painted him as an evil, selfish man - maybe someone should have looked back at the good things this man has done... Maybe the intensity of the ER caused his stress level to explode that particular morning.

It was clear that Peterson and company still didn't spill enough of Dr. Thompson' blood to feed their frenzy. Although their medical bills were paid, and it came under testimony that Peterson received $100k for his "trouble," he and the Queen Prosecutor are now demanding additional restitution from a man that has been stripped of his life and bank roll. YES, THIS IS CLEARLY ABOUT MONEY, FOLKS!!!

As I said to the Plaintiffs as I left the court room - "Your Karma is coming...it always does..." I hope they can live with their guilt - but I imagine not, as they are a pack of self-serving, self-righteous Sociopaths looking for a free hand out.

SO GENTLEMEN - REMEMBER MY WORDS WELL EVERY TIME LIFE BEGINS TO FAIL YOU... Oh yeah - enjoy your bike ride...

He deserves everything he got. Everything. As for the riders injured by the good Dr, I am sure they sleep well.
 
Ninety5rpm said:
Why? Why are the exceptions shortened? [...]
Anyway, to the contrary, we should take a CLOSE look at ALL the exceptions.

[...]

Too many people in general believe bicyclists belong at the curb, but at least bicyclists need to stop thinking (and riding!) this way.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/Vehicular_cycling

Very nice post, Ninety5. I often find myself having this exact discussion with curb-hugging commuters trying to make their way across Austin--which is not nearly as bicycle-friendly as you might expect.

These types of exceptions are almost universal. I'd encourage everyone reading to learn your own community's regulations, but a good rule of thumb is that a cyclist is always granted the right lane of travel. If it's a designated shoulder, great; if it's a mixed-use lane, and there isn't enough room to safely pass, then you DO own it.

Ride safely, everyone!
 
Aug 13, 2009
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csalapatas said:
I was in the courtroom yesterday and witnessed the destruction of a doctor, who has served the public for over 30 years. The court, and "holier than though" Prosecutor, choose to use Dr. Thompson as an example. They offered him up to the biking community as a form of revenge to an ongoing problem. The sacrificial lamb...

I can easily state this, judging by other sentences issued to REALLY EVIL individuals, who have done much worse than Dr. Thompson. His words were construed to mean something that they might not have meant at all - and that's what this case hung its hat on. The biking community feels that it owns the road and that Joe Public should stay out of their way and yield to their pleasure.

They have taken this poor man, who was returning home from an all night shift in the ER - only destroyed his life, but the life of his family. I guess it wasn't enough for Peterson (cyclist) and his crew to destroy this man. Yes, HE HAS LOST HIS HOME TO FORECLOSURE, HIS RIGHT TO PRACTICE MEDICINE AND, THE JUDGE DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD ADD MORE ICING TO THE CAKE - HE LOST THE RIGHT TO DRIVE A VEHICLE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Yet, murderers and rapists just get their life's back - no problem...

Because of a medical condition regarding his heart, it came under testimony by his father, a well-respected 85 year old surgeon, that his son might not even make it through the cruel, and over-harsh, 5 YEAR SENTENCE THAT SOME MURDERERS AND RAPISTS DON'T GET.

Obviously, the proper sentence should have involved community service and anger management - allowing him to continue to help those who are sick. A nurse came forward to say how Dr. Thompson had taught her daughter how to play piano at no charge. The girl was tragically killed at 18 - Dr. Thompson has continued to selflessly send flowers to her grave over the years. Yet, the Prosecutor painted him as an evil, selfish man - maybe someone should have looked back at the good things this man has done... Maybe the intensity of the ER caused his stress level to explode that particular morning.

It was clear that Peterson and company still didn't spill enough of Dr. Thompson' blood to feed their frenzy. Although their medical bills were paid, and it came under testimony that Peterson received $100k for his "trouble," he and the Queen Prosecutor are now demanding additional restitution from a man that has been stripped of his life and bank roll. YES, THIS IS CLEARLY ABOUT MONEY, FOLKS!!!

As I said to the Plaintiffs as I left the court room - "Your Karma is coming...it always does..." I hope they can live with their guilt - but I imagine not, as they are a pack of self-serving, self-righteous Sociopaths looking for a free hand out.

SO GENTLEMEN - REMEMBER MY WORDS WELL EVERY TIME LIFE BEGINS TO FAIL YOU... Oh yeah - enjoy your bike ride...

The reason your friend the Doctor is going to jail for 5 years is because he was arrogant enough to pursue a NO WIN case. The reason you seldom see such sentences is because most rational people would have settled instead of going to trial.

With the same sense of arrogant entitlement that your friend used to harass and maim cyclist he pursued a NO WIN case. The prosecutors were shocked that he would not plea bargain for a much lessor charge and sentence. The evidence against your friend was so overwhelming that the jury barely had to deliberate to come to a decision of guilt.

Why is it no surprise that the good doctor was the only person in the neighbor with a sense of arrogant entitlement?
 
Oct 25, 2009
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I find it curious that the good doctor only showed remorse when the sentence was read. Up until that moment he was defiant and claimed he did nothing wrong. This is the SECOND time he pulled the trick of passing cyclists and then slamming his brakes.

I don't care if he was Mother freakin' Theresa. His actions were deliberate and could have killed one or more people. One would think the oaths he took as a doctor would make him think twice about pulling such dangerous and violent actions. But they did not. He deliberately tried to injure cyclists on two occasions. He destroyed himself. He chose to take those actions, now he must face the consequences. I am glad he won't be terrorizing cyclists any longer.

If he has a heart condition then why was he driving so aggressively and putting himself into situations that caused such stress? Typical of the rich fool who thinks he is entitled to act in any manner he pleases. F**k him.
 
csalapatas said:
I was in the courtroom yesterday and witnessed the destruction of a doctor, who has served the public for over 30 years. The court, and "holier than though" Prosecutor, choose to use Dr. Thompson as an example. They offered him up to the biking community as a form of revenge to an ongoing problem. The sacrificial lamb...

I can easily state this, judging by other sentences issued to REALLY EVIL individuals, who have done much worse than Dr. Thompson. His words were construed to mean something that they might not have meant at all - and that's what this case hung its hat on. The biking community feels that it owns the road and that Joe Public should stay out of their way and yield to their pleasure.

They have taken this poor man, who was returning home from an all night shift in the ER - only destroyed his life, but the life of his family. I guess it wasn't enough for Peterson (cyclist) and his crew to destroy this man. Yes, HE HAS LOST HIS HOME TO FORECLOSURE, HIS RIGHT TO PRACTICE MEDICINE AND, THE JUDGE DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD ADD MORE ICING TO THE CAKE - HE LOST THE RIGHT TO DRIVE A VEHICLE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Yet, murderers and rapists just get their life's back - no problem...

Because of a medical condition regarding his heart, it came under testimony by his father, a well-respected 85 year old surgeon, that his son might not even make it through the cruel, and over-harsh, 5 YEAR SENTENCE THAT SOME MURDERERS AND RAPISTS DON'T GET.

Obviously, the proper sentence should have involved community service and anger management - allowing him to continue to help those who are sick. A nurse came forward to say how Dr. Thompson had taught her daughter how to play piano at no charge. The girl was tragically killed at 18 - Dr. Thompson has continued to selflessly send flowers to her grave over the years. Yet, the Prosecutor painted him as an evil, selfish man - maybe someone should have looked back at the good things this man has done... Maybe the intensity of the ER caused his stress level to explode that particular morning.

It was clear that Peterson and company still didn't spill enough of Dr. Thompson' blood to feed their frenzy. Although their medical bills were paid, and it came under testimony that Peterson received $100k for his "trouble," he and the Queen Prosecutor are now demanding additional restitution from a man that has been stripped of his life and bank roll. YES, THIS IS CLEARLY ABOUT MONEY, FOLKS!!!

As I said to the Plaintiffs as I left the court room - "Your Karma is coming...it always does..." I hope they can live with their guilt - but I imagine not, as they are a pack of self-serving, self-righteous Sociopaths looking for a free hand out.

SO GENTLEMEN - REMEMBER MY WORDS WELL EVERY TIME LIFE BEGINS TO FAIL YOU... Oh yeah - enjoy your bike ride...

Please explain what the "ongoing problem" is. Are you referring to cyclists sharing the road with motorists? If assault with a deadly weapon is not a crime in your eyes because the assailent was not "really evil", just repeatly endangered cyclists and finally "taught them a lesson" using his car against bicycles, perhaps you should move to a country where such behavoir is legal.

Your theory about Karma may be correct. Your friend the good Doctor seems to have done what was necessary to recieved his.

From the tone of your last sentence I for one would not want to run into you driving while I was on my bike. I truly hope I am wrong about that, but it sure sounds like a threat.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Tom T. said:
I find it curious that the good doctor only showed remorse when the sentence was read. Up until that moment he was defiant and claimed he did nothing wrong. This is the SECOND time he pulled the trick of passing cyclists and then slamming his brakes.

There were actually multiple riders who came forward and said that Doctor Megele had tried to kill them as well. He was also convicted of harassing two other cyclists who documented an earlier run-in with the doctor on Mandeville Canyon Road. Patrick Watson and Josh Crosby taken down his license plate number and filed a complaint from an incident 2 years ago. In that incident the Doctor tried TWICE to hit the riders.

This made it clear to the prosecutors that not only did they have a slam dunk case but they had a sociopath that they had to get off the road.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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csalapatas said:
Because of a medical condition regarding his heart, it came under testimony by his father, a well-respected 85 year old surgeon, that his son might not even make it through the cruel, and over-harsh, 5 YEAR SENTENCE THAT SOME MURDERERS AND RAPISTS DON'T GET.

It was clear that Peterson and company still didn't spill enough of Dr. Thompson' blood to feed their frenzy. Although their medical bills were paid, and it came under testimony that Peterson received $100k for his "trouble," he and the Queen Prosecutor are now demanding additional restitution from a man that has been stripped of his life and bank roll. YES, THIS IS CLEARLY ABOUT MONEY, FOLKS!!!

As I said to the Plaintiffs as I left the court room - "Your Karma is coming...it always does..." I hope they can live with their guilt - but I imagine not, as they are a pack of self-serving, self-righteous Sociopaths looking for a free hand out.

Given his prior history of assaulting cyclists I really do not see how the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating ones to allow him the minimal sentence in this case, as well as giving him no additional time for the additional victims here.

SO GENTLEMEN - REMEMBER MY WORDS WELL EVERY TIME LIFE BEGINS TO FAIL YOU... Oh yeah - enjoy your bike ride...


In California, the minimum sentence for a murder is Life in prison (there is a possibility of parole after 15 years for second degree murder - which is what this doctor would have received if either cyclist died for each victim). The doctor received the mitigated sentence for assault in this case of two years plus an additional 3 years for the great bodily injury cause - something the court was supposed to impose. The injury that the doctor caused to the second rider essentially was a freebee for him since no time was imposed.

The prosecutor was arguing for a maximum sentence which would have been eight years, 4 for the assault with a deadly weapon, 3 for the great bodily injury and 1 for the second assault of the second victim. The middle term would have been 3 years for the assault, 3 for the great bodily injury and 1 year for the second victim.

I would say that both the cyclists and the doctor are lucky; the riders because they are still living and should be able to recover (although I doubt they will ever enjoy riding in the streets again), and the doctor since he did not get even a average sentence or the life sentence he would have been required to serve had he killed either of the cyclists.
 
csalapatas said:
I was in the courtroom yesterday and witnessed the destruction of a doctor, who has served the public for over 30 years. The court, and "holier than though" Prosecutor, choose to use Dr. Thompson as an example. They offered him up to the biking community as a form of revenge to an ongoing problem. The sacrificial lamb...

I can easily state this, judging by other sentences issued to REALLY EVIL individuals, who have done much worse than Dr. Thompson. His words were construed to mean something that they might not have meant at all - and that's what this case hung its hat on. The biking community feels that it owns the road and that Joe Public should stay out of their way and yield to their pleasure.

They have taken this poor man, who was returning home from an all night shift in the ER - only destroyed his life, but the life of his family. I guess it wasn't enough for Peterson (cyclist) and his crew to destroy this man. Yes, HE HAS LOST HIS HOME TO FORECLOSURE, HIS RIGHT TO PRACTICE MEDICINE AND, THE JUDGE DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD ADD MORE ICING TO THE CAKE - HE LOST THE RIGHT TO DRIVE A VEHICLE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Yet, murderers and rapists just get their life's back - no problem...

Because of a medical condition regarding his heart, it came under testimony by his father, a well-respected 85 year old surgeon, that his son might not even make it through the cruel, and over-harsh, 5 YEAR SENTENCE THAT SOME MURDERERS AND RAPISTS DON'T GET.

Obviously, the proper sentence should have involved community service and anger management - allowing him to continue to help those who are sick. A nurse came forward to say how Dr. Thompson had taught her daughter how to play piano at no charge. The girl was tragically killed at 18 - Dr. Thompson has continued to selflessly send flowers to her grave over the years. Yet, the Prosecutor painted him as an evil, selfish man - maybe someone should have looked back at the good things this man has done... Maybe the intensity of the ER caused his stress level to explode that particular morning.

It was clear that Peterson and company still didn't spill enough of Dr. Thompson' blood to feed their frenzy. Although their medical bills were paid, and it came under testimony that Peterson received $100k for his "trouble," he and the Queen Prosecutor are now demanding additional restitution from a man that has been stripped of his life and bank roll. YES, THIS IS CLEARLY ABOUT MONEY, FOLKS!!!

As I said to the Plaintiffs as I left the court room - "Your Karma is coming...it always does..." I hope they can live with their guilt - but I imagine not, as they are a pack of self-serving, self-righteous Sociopaths looking for a free hand out.

SO GENTLEMEN - REMEMBER MY WORDS WELL EVERY TIME LIFE BEGINS TO FAIL YOU... Oh yeah - enjoy your bike ride...

ROTFL. Tell your friend to watch out for his cornhole.

Finally a little bit of justice in the world.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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csalapatas, after reading more and more you have pointed out a few things that should be considered. Murders and rapists should get longer sentences. If you think that a couple of friends bombing down a hill on a sunny day enjoying a ride, asked themselves " How can I make some money?...maybe I will slam into that midsize and hope the guy has cash". You my kind citizen have been misinformed. Yes your pal got touched with financial lightning after injuring people you see as inferior. That's the way things go from time to time. After reading the available testimonies of everybody involved I feel sorry for all of them. After reading your slant, I hope your Dr friend is a good kisser and likes to spoon. One things for sure he will wash his hands often. Think of all the guys he is going to be able to teach how to read. If you would like I can send him all my cycling books so he never runs out of reading material for the 5 years. Additionally, is any of your homeowners assoc money being spent to help reeducate the local drivers? If not belly up.
 
Aug 16, 2009
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forumlurker said:
yep. almost makes me want to do a little jail time so i can sodomize him myself

Yeah, a good rear-ending with an entire time-trial bike would be appropriate. The guy deserves lethal injection.
 
Oct 13, 2009
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And I thought he got off easy, 5 five years is not a lot.
Most states give one day of "good behavior” for everyday served. So is “real” sentence is 2.5 years. Then because we are such nice people he’ll be able to apply for “early release” after serving 25% of his “real” sentence. So don’t worry “csalapatas” your friend whose life was destroyed will be out in less than 7 or 8 mo.s……..
 
Jul 23, 2009
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mitchman said:
And I thought he got off easy, 5 five years is not a lot.
Most states give one day of "good behavior” for everyday served. So is “real” sentence is 2.5 years. Then because we are such nice people he’ll be able to apply for “early release” after serving 25% of his “real” sentence. So don’t worry “csalapatas” your friend whose life was destroyed will be out in less than 7 or 8 mo.s……..

Actually, because of the personal infliction of great bodily injury he will have to do 85% of the time - so he is going to be doing 4 years and 3 months.
 
Oct 13, 2009
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Nive,I was just outlining WI law.......I guest we're just a little softer. But even at that it's not that long, I've paid longer on a car.
 

ravens

BANNED
Nov 22, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
Actually, because of the personal infliction of great bodily injury he will have to do 85% of the time - so he is going to be doing 4 years and 3 months.

It's too bad he didn't get more. He deserves to be very severely punished. This is no different than someone trying to kill someone for no other reason than their color, religion or political views.
 
May 6, 2009
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csalapatas said:
I was in the courtroom yesterday and witnessed the destruction of a doctor, who has served the public for over 30 years. The court, and "holier than though" Prosecutor, choose to use Dr. Thompson as an example. They offered him up to the biking community as a form of revenge to an ongoing problem. The sacrificial lamb...

I can easily state this, judging by other sentences issued to REALLY EVIL individuals, who have done much worse than Dr. Thompson. His words were construed to mean something that they might not have meant at all - and that's what this case hung its hat on. The biking community feels that it owns the road and that Joe Public should stay out of their way and yield to their pleasure.

They have taken this poor man, who was returning home from an all night shift in the ER - only destroyed his life, but the life of his family. I guess it wasn't enough for Peterson (cyclist) and his crew to destroy this man. Yes, HE HAS LOST HIS HOME TO FORECLOSURE, HIS RIGHT TO PRACTICE MEDICINE AND, THE JUDGE DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD ADD MORE ICING TO THE CAKE - HE LOST THE RIGHT TO DRIVE A VEHICLE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Yet, murderers and rapists just get their life's back - no problem...

Because of a medical condition regarding his heart, it came under testimony by his father, a well-respected 85 year old surgeon, that his son might not even make it through the cruel, and over-harsh, 5 YEAR SENTENCE THAT SOME MURDERERS AND RAPISTS DON'T GET.

Obviously, the proper sentence should have involved community service and anger management - allowing him to continue to help those who are sick. A nurse came forward to say how Dr. Thompson had taught her daughter how to play piano at no charge. The girl was tragically killed at 18 - Dr. Thompson has continued to selflessly send flowers to her grave over the years. Yet, the Prosecutor painted him as an evil, selfish man - maybe someone should have looked back at the good things this man has done... Maybe the intensity of the ER caused his stress level to explode that particular morning.

It was clear that Peterson and company still didn't spill enough of Dr. Thompson' blood to feed their frenzy. Although their medical bills were paid, and it came under testimony that Peterson received $100k for his "trouble," he and the Queen Prosecutor are now demanding additional restitution from a man that has been stripped of his life and bank roll. YES, THIS IS CLEARLY ABOUT MONEY, FOLKS!!!

As I said to the Plaintiffs as I left the court room - "Your Karma is coming...it always does..." I hope they can live with their guilt - but I imagine not, as they are a pack of self-serving, self-righteous Sociopaths looking for a free hand out.

SO GENTLEMEN - REMEMBER MY WORDS WELL EVERY TIME LIFE BEGINS TO FAIL YOU... Oh yeah - enjoy your bike ride...

Wow, I mean wow.
 
May 6, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
Some people just do not have a clue - clearly there is a complete break down in human empathy here on the part of the doctor and apparently his friends.

I will tell you one thing, in my state in Australia, if the Doc did what he did over here, there is no way he would get five years. Or if he did, because of time served (since it happened in July 2008), at most he would do very little prison time (6-8 months max.), the likely result is that he would be straight out on parole (assuming he was out on bail) without actually spending a day behind bars, paid a fine and be on a good behaviour bond, with a conviction recorded. Does that sort of thing apply in America?

I find it laughable that somebody would go out of their way to hurt themselves for financial gain.