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Thread: Florida Man Guilty of DUI Manslaughter Sues Victim

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    Default Florida Man Guilty of DUI Manslaughter Sues Victim

    Florida Man Guilty of DUI Manslaughter Sues Victim

    A man who had pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter stemming from a crash near Tampa, Fla., on Christmas Day 2007 now denies causing the crash that killed three of the four people in the vehicle he hit.

    David Belniak has sued the estate of Ray McWilliams, the now-deceased driver of the other vehicle, for more than $15,000, saying it was actually McWilliams who caused the crash by abruptly changing lanes, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

    McWilliams initially survived the crash but later died. Belniak was sentenced to 12 years in prison, where he remains.

    The money is to compensate Belniak for medical bills, "pain and suffering," and "loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life," according to the suit.

    The Times reported that Belniak's attorney, Debra A. Tuomey, who is also his sister, said the government's prosecution amounted to a character assassination and Belniak accepted a plea deal only to avoid risking getting a life sentence in trial.

    Tuomey said she wanted her suit, filed last month, to be considered alongside an existing suit brought by the victims' relatives against Belniak, scheduled for trial in April.

    In an interview with ABC News, Maureen M. Deskins, who is representing the estate of Ray McWilliams, could think of no tactical reason that might explain Belniak's suit.

    "If the jury [in the civil suit] decided McWilliams shared some fault for the accident, they would be allowed to apportion liability accordingly," she said.

    Belniak's suit could backfire, she said, inflaming jurors, who might already be sympathetic to the victims of the crash for which Belniak admitted guilt.

    "It's hard to wrap your head around," Deskins said.

    "There aren't any facts that support the allegation [Tuomey] is making," Deskins added. "That's why the victims' family is breathless" at Belniak's suit.

    Six eyewitnesses said McWilliams was stopped a red light when Belniak, at 70 to 90 mph, and never veering or braking, rear-ended him, Deskins said.

    The event data recorder in McWilliams' vehicle showed it was not moving at the time of impact, she added. And prior to the incident, citizens had called Florida Highway Patrol to say Belniak had been driving out of control, she said.

    Debra Tuomey did not respond to a request for comment.

    Florida Man Guilty of DUI Manslaughter Sues Victim | ABC News Blogs - Yahoo!
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Nobody seems to understand what Deborah Tuomey is up to. Below is part of her linked-in profile. She herself claims to have prosecuted DUI felony cases:


    Debra Tuomey, Attorney at Law

    January 2005 Present (7 years 1 month)

    Debra has 1 recommendation (1 partner) including:
    • 3rdDavid A. B., Partner / Lawyer, Hulien & Barrett, LLC
    Attorney

    State Attorney's Office, Pinellas-Pasco 6th Judicial Circuit



    2001 2004 (3 years)
    Prosecuted misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. Also, prosecuted Juvenile cases. Tried over 50 jury trials including several DUI Manslaughter prosecutions and other high-profile felony criminal cases. Featured on Court TV where I was involved in a high-profile DUI Manslaughter case.

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    Silver Member venue_26's Avatar
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    Wow, just to make a name for herself? What a piece of garbage!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    Nobody seems to understand what Deborah Tuomey is up to. Below is part of her linked-in profile. She herself claims to have prosecuted DUI felony cases:


    Debra Tuomey, Attorney at Law

    January 2005 Present (7 years 1 month)

    Debra has 1 recommendation (1 partner) including:
    • 3rdDavid A. B., Partner / Lawyer, Hulien & Barrett, LLC

    Attorney

    State Attorney's Office, Pinellas-Pasco 6th Judicial Circuit



    2001 2004 (3 years)
    Prosecuted misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. Also, prosecuted Juvenile cases. Tried over 50 jury trials including several DUI Manslaughter prosecutions and other high-profile felony criminal cases. Featured on Court TV where I was involved in a high-profile DUI Manslaughter case.
    Funnily enough none of your links work for me they just route me back to GR.... Spooky!
    Free Charmed.

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    Belniak killed three people and only got 12 years in prison for it. Yet now he's got his shark sister rubbing salt into the wounds of the victims' families? Hope the mofo is trampled to death during a prison riot.
    Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there? I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its bum"?


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    Six eyewitnesses said McWilliams was stopped a red light when Belniak, at 70 to 90 mph, and never veering or braking, rear-ended him,
    How does anyone say this was actually McWilliams' fault? What, he changed lanes and then stopped abruptly at the red light? Didn't Belniak have to stop at the red light anyway? What is this shit?
    What if Superman is psychotic and everyone can see that he's Clark Kent but they just play along not to set him off?

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    A pathetic attempt at attention at the expense of an already grieving, pissed off family. Good luck with that, pal.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I saw this excerpt on another site. To me, it sounds like the sister is certifiably crazy. I can't believe she held a position of responsibility for so long.....Also, the car that was hit was a Chevy Tahoe - which is enormous. Do you realize how fast you have to be going to destroy a Tahoe???
    Attorney Debra A. Tuomey, in making her brother's filing, said the Florida Highway Patrol's investigation of the case was a "government sanctioned assassination against one individual." Her suit suggests that the police and prosecutor's office were driven by Belniak's history as a DUI driver and convicted drug dealer rather than the facts of the accident .

    According to the Tampa Bay Times, the lawsuit seeks to get the victims' relatives to pay Belniak, now 38, for his "pain and suffering ... mental anguish ... loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life" and the medical bills he got as a result of a crash he pleaded guilty to causing.

    "This is ridiculous," Georgette DeFranco, 48, a relative of the victims, told the Times. "You caused it. You accepted guilt. How can I or anybody in this family be responsible for your injuries?"

    DeFranco, the Times reported, lost her mother, Linda McWilliams, 66; her sister, Denise Bassi, 50; and her brother-in-law, Gerard Bassi, 51, in the crash. DeFranco's stepfather, Ray McWilliams, was injured but survived, but died last March at age 68 allegedly, in part, due to the after effects of the accident. The Bassi couple lived in Connecticut and were visiting Florida for the holidays.

    Authorities said Belniak, at the time of the accident on Christmas day 2007, was driving between 75 and 85 mph when his pickup smashed into the back of McWilliams' Chevrolet Tahoe. The SUV crumpled. Gerard Bassi died at the scene. Denise Bassi died in surgery that day. Linda McWilliams was taken off life support a week later. Authorities said Belniak had alcohol, Xanax and evidence of cocaine in his system.

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    They have to defend this, he's also trying to bankrupt the estate so they can't sue for wrongful death, etc. have the family already sued him? Or even filed suit? I would have thought that that might have something to do with it.
    The sister? Everyone knows that families have some real bad apples that the family refuses to believe that they did anything wrong...
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Those are great questions, and it is difficult for me to find extra information about the case. The rationale offered by Tuomey (assassination by the state) seems kind of unhinged, especially since it would have bearing on an appeal, but would not be related to why she is suing the family. Believe it or not, I read somewhere that she claimed that the family made an illegal lane change, even though what I think he did was slam into them from behind while they were stopped at a light. I could be wrong about that, though.

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    Yeah it's in the op
    Six eyewitnesses said McWilliams was stopped a red light when Belniak, at 70 to 90 mph, and never veering or braking, rear-ended him, Deskins said.

    The event data recorder in McWilliams' vehicle showed it was not moving at the time of impact, she added. And prior to the incident, citizens had called Florida Highway Patrol to say Belniak had been driving out of control, she said.
    If I'd reread the op I would have answered my own question
    Tuomey said she wanted her suit, filed last month, to be considered alongside an existing suit brought by the victims' relatives against Belniak, scheduled for trial in April.
    Sue & counter-sue, it's all a game to some of these people, in the meantime four people are dead.
    Free Charmed.

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    I hope the next one killed by a DUI driver in Flaw-duh is this bitch attorney sister.

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