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Old 03-30-2004, 12:39 AM   #1
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Jim Reed & Bishop O'Brien

Can you believe this shyt? If the tables were turned, we know for sure Jim Reed would've been sitting in jail right now. Bishop O'Brien got off with a slap on the wrist, it's so sickening. And who cares if Reed was drunk or not, he's the one who got hit and died.....

________________________________________________

4 years' probation for O'Brien in hit-run

Arizona Republic

Bishop Thomas O'Brien was allegedly behind the wheel when his car hit and killed a pedestrian June 14.

The Arizona Republic
Mar. 26, 2004 05:10 PM


Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien was sentenced Friday to four years' probation and 1,000 hours of community service for leaving the scene of a fatal car-pedestrian accident. He had faced up to 45 months in prison and a $150,000 fine.

O'Brien was also given a six-month deferred jail sentence - jail time that would effectively be erased if he meets all conditions of his probation.

The bishop's driving privileges were suspended for five years. His community service must be in the form of face-to-face visits to comfort the seriously ill or dying and would cover people of all faiths and backgrounds, Judge Stephen A. Gerst of the Maricopa County Superior Court said.

The bishop made no comment following the sentencing, but County Attorney Rick Romley said he was disappointed that O'Brien was not punished more severely.

"The message he (Gerst) sent today is that if you are a person of some note, then you are to be treated differently," Romley said in a released statement. "By way of an example, the Judge said that he considered the humiliation suffered by Bishop O’Brien as a mitigating factor. The fact that Bishop O’Brien is humiliated and may suffer the whispers or embarrassment of his fellow citizens offers little solace to the children, the mother and extended family of Jim Reed who lost his life when Bishop O’Brien left the scene of an accident without rendering aid."

In explaining the basis of the sentence, Gerst took some 90 minutes to review for O'Brien and observers in the packed courtroom of similar cases and what sentences those defendants received.



Related links
• County Attorney Romley weighs in
• Special report: O'Brien on trial
12 News: The judge issues the decision
• MacDonald: Bishop deserves jail
• Hardt: A just sentence for O'Brien
• Bommersbach: Solomon-like decision
• Dan libertad condicional a obispo de Phoenix por arrollamiento


Gerst said he researched 99 cases on his own, in part to address concerns that O'Brien, a well-known public figure, might get away with a lighter sentence than ordinary citizens.

The judge noted that O'Brien was unlike any of the 69 defendants in that case review who got prison or jail time, many of whom stopped after a serious accident, realized there were serious injuries or death to others, and bolted. He said he found no evidence that the bishop tried to conceal evidence.

Gerst started the proceeding by acknowledging scores of people who wrote or testified on behalf or against the bishop - from the relatives and friends of the pedestrian, Jim L. Reed, to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of predatory priests who said they found no recourse or voice from the Catholic church leadership, including O'Brien.

"I want all of you to know - I've heard you and I've listened," he said.

But Gerst said the case and the sentencing rested on one issue only - the requirement that drivers stop and provide help in accidents involving serious injuries or death.

The judge said he heard many in the community who said that O'Brien deserved harsher treatment given his standing as a cleric, but he said to do so would be "interjecting religion into this."

A jury of five women and three men deliberated a little less than seven hours over two days before returning the unanimous guilty verdict against O'Brien on Feb. 17.

In a court hearing last week, the bishop for the first time publicly accepted responsibility for his actions and implored a judge to sentence him to probation so he can "continue to serve the church and the community."

Reading from a prepared statement at the start of a daylong presentencing hearing, the bishop stopped short of apologizing for his actions in the June 14 accident.

He asked for forgiveness and told the court he realizes, in the wake of the conviction, that "I should have known I hit someone and stopped and returned to the scene of the accident."

"The police and lawyers have told me and the court that I am not responsible for causing the death of Mr. Reed," O'Brien said. "Nonetheless, I feel responsible, Your Honor. I feel responsible."The loss and sadness related to Mr. Reed's death and my sadness at being involved in an accident that resulted in his loss of life, places a feeling of responsibility in my soul, in my heart and in my mind."

Robert Ramirez, an attorney and spokesman for the Reed family, called O'Brien's five-minute statement "evasive."

"It's very carefully worded," Ramirez said. "We're just wondering if it is from his heart or is it lip service for the judge. It's basically a self-serving comment."

Reed, who worked as a carpenter in Phoenix, was jaywalking and intoxicated at the time of the accident. Prosecutors said if O'Brien had stopped at the scene he never would have faced criminal charges.

O'Brien resigned as head of the Phoenix Diocese one day after his arrest, but remains a bishop for life in the eyes of the church.
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:35 AM   #2
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Did'nt one article here that was posted say that the bishop had been drinking as well?
This is way too sad....
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:54 AM   #3
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GAWWWDD!! Seriously this is just fawkin dumb!! Damn biligaana's !!!! :Mad
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:52 PM   #4
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That's the Church for ya.

....let's all pray for the Eternal Damnation of Mr. O'brian.

ayyye!! :flaming:

It's messed up!!! But, that's Phoenix for ya too....
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:57 PM   #5
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I don't know if there was a article that said he had been drinking, but just watching him on TV during his trial, he was dumber than a blonde bimbo. :Frog

So yup, that is just f'd up, should've figured tho huh?
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:24 PM   #6
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I donated way more than two pennies on this already. :Yell :Yell

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