Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Trial assigned to new judge, moved to October

The trial of a part-time resident charged on suspicion of DUI manslaughter was moved to October and assigned a new judge after the initial judge recused herself, attorneys said last week.

Richard Lee Hall, 69, was charged in the Feb. 2, 2010, crash on southbound U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 47.5 near 14th Street that killed 61-year-old Bernard George Snyder.

Snyder was thrown from the 1993 Corvette convertible and was taken to Fishermen's Hospital, where he died. He was not wearing a seat belt, but Hall was, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Hall reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.104 three hours after the crash and 0.084 four hours after, reports state. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08.

The case has been in limbo since then. The initial county judge, Ruth Becker in Marathon, recused herself in May after learning that a newly hired assistant had worked on the case while previously employed with the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office, said defense attorney Bill Heffernan.

The case was assigned to county Judge Wayne Miller, and will now be heard in Key West, said Assistant State Attorney Tanner Demmery.

Heffernan has also brought more expert witnesses, a medical expert and another expert in crash reconstruction, which the state will also have to interview prior to trial.

Meanwhile, Heffernan and prosecutors have met in an effort to reach a plea agreement in lieu of trial, but have yet to hammer out a deal suitable for both parties, Heffernan said.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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