Fort Worth Appellate Court Won’t Hear Tragic Drunken Driving Case
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Prosecutors were hoping to increase the maximum sentence for an alleged drunken driver who left a Fort Worth boy in a vegetative state. But they left court this week disappointed.
Not as disappointed, however, as the boy’s mother.
Five-year-old Abdallah Kader was left without much hope for a future in 2009 after an alleged drunken driver, named Stewart Richardson, plowed his Ford F-250 into the family’s car.
The little boy, his mother says, faces life in a vegetative state.
“He doesn’t see. He doesn’t eat. He doesn’t talk. He doesn’t do anything that a five-year-old would do,” Loubna Elharazin said.
Stewart Richardson, she says, faces up to 10 years in prison.
“I don’t think this man deserves anything less than life,” Elharazin said.
Prosecutors had hoped to increase Richardson’s maximum punishment by asking a district judge two years ago to include Richardson’s DUI charges from other states.
That judge ruled the request “invalid.”
Now, comes word from an appeals court: They won’t even consider the matter.
CBS 11 Legal Analyst, Jerry Loftin, agrees with them.
“The Fort Worth Court of Appeals did exactly the right thing. They rule over something when it’s over with. This case is not over with,” Loftin said.
That’s because Stewart Richardson hasn’t even gone to trial yet.
“What happened to my son alone should be enough to sentence this man to life. He ended my son’s life. My son has no life,” said Elharazin.
There is now a new law named after Abdallah Khader which ups the penalty to 20 years for cases like theirs. But it does not help Abdallah or his family.
Prosecutors may appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, which is a higher appellate court.
Prosecutors could ask them to force the Fort Worth Court of Appeals to make a decision on the initial district court’s ruling, which had quashed the request for “enhancements” or inclusion of Richardson’s out of state DUI’s.
But Loftin, said enhancements can only be considered when other felony charges are involved. Leaving him to believe Richardson’s DUI’s in other states were misdemeanors.
Meanwhile, Stewart Richardson remains in jail without a trial date.