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Pleasanton teen accepts plea deal for fatal crash that killed Dublin bicyclist

Original post made on Apr 17, 2014

A Pleasanton teen has accepted a plea deal in the criminal case stemming from a high-speed crash on Foothill Road that killed a Dublin bicyclist last June.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 17, 2014, 4:23 PM

Comments (48)

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Posted by Susie
a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm

It sounds like he got a pretty decent deal. Only 9 years for killing someone after terrorizing the roads for years. At least he won't be driving again any time soon.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm

This place is a joke! 9 years? In any other state he would serve 4.5 of the 9 years but with prison overcrowding he will serve 2-3 tops. Keep voting for these idiots Californians!!!!


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Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 17, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Why in heck would the prosecutor take a plea? A woman's life is only worth 9 years? No, that is not justice.


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2014 at 10:02 pm

I am not about to pretend that I know what a proper sentence for Hall would be. But unless the sentence says he may NEVER hold a driver's license again, and that if he was caught behind the wheel that he will return immediately to jail, unless it says these things it is a total waste of everyone's time.


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Posted by Not nearly enough
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:38 am

Make no mistake, that little sociopath was crying for himself. Not for the woman whose life he stole. There is no justice in this sentence. Life behind bars would have been justice, this is a joke.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 18, 2014 at 7:56 am

A lot can happen in 9 yrs. behind bars. He'll find out soon enough. He is where he belongs.




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Posted by Jim Coughlin
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:27 am

And I understand the father of this young man is facing felony probation violations for having hand guns and ammunition in the house when the police came to arrest the kid last year. The father has more than one felony conviction and as such should not be in possession of any firearms. Sadly - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. This young man is lost and yes I think he should have gotten more time. I truly hope he serves the full 9 years. It's the very least that should happen.


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Posted by cyclist
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:32 am

This is too light of a sentence. Drug addicts get bigger sentences than this. I have to agree with someone else's comment that he should never be allowed a drivers licence and the privilege of driving a motor vehicle ever again. In fact, I think his transportation when he gets out should be a bicycle. Perhaps it will help him to never forget the life he stole and he can experience the terror he inflicts upon many of us.


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Posted by Renee
a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:55 am

Cholo said it best. Its sad for everyone involved. She is gone forever and his life is surely ruined. The Hersevoorts are longtime family friends of mine, the pain and greif I've seen doesn't seem equal to the 9 years for Cody. He has 2 options for himself 1. He can come out a better person or 2. He will come out worse and Im not talking about driving. Sad sad sad for everyone. Thank god the Hersevoorts dont have to goto trial and hopefully soon start to heal.


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Posted by wondering
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:25 am

I don't think nine years is nearly enough, of course. Maybe the judge reviewing it will up the total number of years. AND definitely no more driving.


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Posted by Tom
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:10 am

Start with the proposition that Diane is dead and her family will have her no more. Then consider that this misfit gets to live out his life, without any penalties in 9 years. Every time I pass Diane's small memorial on Foothill Road, I think that life really can be unfair and now, after reading this, a reminder that justice can be cruelly unjust.


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Posted by Julia
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:11 am

Yes, I am not a fan of most comments from Cholo...But I have to admit he said it right this time..Great comment Cholo.

Thanks for listening, Julia from Alamo


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Posted by 3rd party in court
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Healing is a process that will never take place for the victim's family and their loss. Knowing from experience myself. However, I don't think that Jim nor William have much more maturity amongst them in their comments. This was a tragedy for both families. And just perhaps we could have a glimpse of hope that Mr. Hall will take this tradegy and come back into society with a gift to offer all. I know that I am a parent of young adults and we all preach to our children all consequences that life has to offer and pray that they follow our wisdom.


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Posted by Doug
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Apr 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Once again, if I'm ever guilty of anything, I want to go to court in the US. Guilty people get off and sentencing is a joke. Poor baby will probably be out on 4 years and recommit again. I hope for his sake it's not one of my family he hits.


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Posted by RICKY
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

The bottom line, there is nothing or any prison time that will help her family, she is gone. Everyone needs to stop and think deeply about how they drive and make sure you and your kids understand how dangerous this''privelage is. She would still be riding her bike and this youn man would be taking his girlfriend out this weekend if people, including you reading this would quit driving like where you need to go is more important than a life. everytime you go to the store you more than likely drive in a poor fasion, but just have not gone overboard and have been lucky not to run anybody down. WAKE UP people you all drive like a bunch of tyrants.
I have nothing good to say about the vast majority of drivers.
SLOW DOWN, life is too short.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I'll second what Ricky says. I hope this story scares the heck out of a lot drivers and makes them slow down and pay attention. And remember to put your phones down when you drive too! I was nearly run down crossing Vineyard last month by someone who couldn't put her phone down long enough to drive.


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Posted by Tragic on all accounts
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm

A comment in the Patch from someone close to Diane's family said that Diane's family accepted the plea deal and that if they had not then it would have gone to trial. Cody should be thanking them. He could have been sent away for a lot longer...and probably knew that so took the deal.


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Posted by 3rd Party in Court
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I believe Ricky put it in the best words. We all have been quilty whether it be drving to fast, texting or talking on phones. Not to mention the many cases that I have seen in news prints of people with DUI's and manslaughter who have got nothing but Probabtion at the most. Some recently with 2nd DUI's. I believe there have been a few in our own community as well. We also need to keep in mind that unless you were in court sometimes the things you read are not the true facts or may have never been proven. I have read things that just seem to be hear say with this case.


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Posted by Speed Up
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Ricky wrote "SLOW DOWN, life is too short."

I could argue this is an oxymoron, and say speed up because life is too short. In Pleasanton at least, I don't believe we have a problem with too many drivers driving too fast. Instead, I believe the problem is too many slow-poke drivers.


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Posted by Too little penalty
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I agree with "get the facts" - he should not be able to drive again. There are buses, taxis, and bicycles.

An aqaintance of ours years ago killed someone with his vehicle. The family sued him and won in court. He did not have the money to pay them, but every time the judgment was just about to be released because of the time, the victims family renewed the judgment. This is a great penalty for someone that has taken so much from a family. That way this young man will have to live with it monetarily the rest of his life since the courts cannot punish him more than a light sentence with the plea deal.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Nine years is a goodly amount of time, as is 2 or 3. The other sad thing about this, however, is that jail probably won't make either Cody or our world any better.

We need to look harder at what we can we do to prevent these accidents from happening.

Mike


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Posted by Not nearly enough
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Excellent suggestion from too little penalty.

Get a judgment against the little sociopath and renew it for the rest of his life. Every dollar he ever earns will be at risk of being taken from him as he stole that life. Cody Hall has learned nothing from this other than how to feel self pity and how no matter what his crime, he will never suffer enough for it. The only thing left is to make sure he can never own a home or life out his life in any comfortable way.


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Posted by Forgive him
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm

It's Good Friday. You should all be ashamed of yourselves d


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Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm

I think it will be very interesting to compare the outcome of this case with that of the San Ramon attorney, Spencer Freeman Smith. He allegedly killed a cyclist, too, but at night, almost two years ago. For some reason, he didn't stop but simply drove his damaged car home and put it in his garage. He had no contact with police until they succeeded in identifying his luxury car and came knocking at his door.

He refused a plea deal and finally appeared in court in January. At that point, another web site indicated that his trial was due to start on April 28, unless it was resolved at the disposition hearing in February. (On the State Bar of California web site his entry still reads: "This member is active and may practice law in California", and that he has no public record of discipline, so I presume that it was not.)


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Kolb Ranch Estates
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Too little penalty nailed it. Once they get a huge judgment I believe it needs to be renewed once every ten years for up to 30 years which will be his peak earning years.

If he were actually going to serve nine years, I won't say it's fair, but it would take away most of his 20's. BUT, we all know he will serve 3 years tops. This is the sickening part and what makes me hope that even if the victim's family isn't excited about a civil suit that they proceed with one to lock him up in another way for 30 years. If they don't want their money, maybe the can support causes the victim cared about or create a scholarship in her name.


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Posted by HA
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 19, 2014 at 8:37 am

It's more than fair. If it went to trial he would have been set free. All over move on to the next PW victim.


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Posted by Jtjh has it right
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Apr 19, 2014 at 10:46 am

So true Jtjh. So much hate here for this young man but nothing for the attorney who was likely under the influence and who left the scene after killing a Chinese visitor to this country and hid his car and tried to have it repaired on the down low. He wasn't scolded by the judge, was not told not to drive and not thrown in jail.


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Posted by Nicely put
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm

All the hate for this young man sickens me. He will now serve his time and will live with the quilt the rest of his life. I just hope some of these haters don't have young men in their lives or perhaps the old ones think back to their days and the mistakes they made. Know of this is to take away from the life that was loss. So much hurt for the victim's family. People in Pleasanton are so judgemental and those who have to comment about the Father in this case. Let's take a look at the skelton's in your families closets. Did any of us ever really hear the facts or attend the court to see all the evidence or are we such a society that loves to read and believe everything!


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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 10:50 am

@ Jtjh - but remember that the attorney you speak of was a black African American. So according to Eric Holder, he cannot be guilty of anything...


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Posted by Until they come after u
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

This was overcharged so they could force a 9 yr plea. Who ever heard of a search warrant on a reckless driving case, even if it was a fatal accident. Some of the comments say he'll be out in 2-3 yrs. He will have to do at least 85% of the sentence. When did fabricating events on social media become evidence. This was an 18yr old kid who drove way too fast as many of us did when we were that age. A tragedy for all involved. A prosecutor trying to make a name for herself. We should be afraid of not being treated with proper Ethics or lawful prosecution. The Family approved of the sentence, whoever heard of that in our criminal system?


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm

To "Until . . ." :

I will bet you a buck he doesn't serve 85% of the nine years, which is about seven and 2/3 years. I do hope you are right, though.

"This was an 18yr old kid who drove way too fast as many of us did when we were that age." I did not drive that fast. He was driving 83 in a 40 mph zone. Other than maybe parking lots, I have never driven over twice the speed limit. Most people don't. And I certainly don't brag about driving 140 mph, as he boasted on Twitter.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2014 at 7:02 pm

"Who ever heard of a ..."

When a reckless driving case includes a death and serious injury, a search isn't unusual?

This was a tragedy for the victims. I can't see how it is a tragedy for Cody Hall. He did a terrible thing, and he will pay a penalty. Why do you people keep defending this person? Did you really drive as recklessly as this guy?


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Posted by Alicia
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Apr 22, 2014 at 1:06 am

I have read the comments about this situation for quite some time now and would like to make a few points. The first being that this is a sad and tragic situation for both parties involved. To tragically lose a family member is the worse possible thing for a family to go through. Having gone through it myself I am very familiar with how awful it is and how sensless it will always feel. It will feel that way for a very long time. It is so very easy to be full of hatred and anger. My heart goes out to you and i am very sorry for your loss. Having said that I do also know that the young man involved with this situation is not a heartless sociopathic with no redeeming qualities. Did he post stupid ill fated remarks on social media ... absolutely! He was 17 years old at the time and a teenager for goodness sake. You cannot tell me that many of our teens out there haven't at one time or another posted stupid ridiculous comments on facebook and twitter. It was less then .0001 percent of total things posted by him. There is a real problem today with kids posting inappropriate things on facebook and twitter but it certainly doesn't make them all evil. These remarks never even got to be fairly defended in court because there was no trial. They just got to be unfairly judged by the public forum out of context and only one sided. How can you judge a child by mistakes that their parents made? We live in the United States for goodness sakes. People are individuals not their parents. Lots of great people come out bad homes and lots of bad people come out of good homes and what families out there don't have some bits of tragedy or skeletons in their backgrounds. I have yet to meet any. Did he drive crazy? Absolutely... There are so many teenage boys that I see driving way to fast, and many other people for that matter. I live on foothill road and am witness to awful driving daily. In fact many of the people that I know who live on foothill road wish for bikes to banned completely from Bernal to Sunol. It is a real hazard for everyone. We all worry about hitting bicycles and worry about all the kids who drive crazy up and down foothill hitting them as well. there is no shoulder or bike lane and there seems to be lots of impatient people passing cars and bikes all the time. It is very scary. I know that Mr.Hall pushed it way to far and did irrepairable damage to the Hersevoort family. My objection is that all humanity seems to have been removed from this. He was being a stupid teenager who was about to graduate from high school and was excited not a murderous sociopath. He was a boy who was well liked at school. He was good with little kids. He had a good sense of humor, he had a job and played sports for many years and was looking forward to starting his life. He was not the horrible person he has been painted on this paper.so for that it is a tragedy all the way around because when you take a life you can never be the same again. He will never be because he did and does have a heart. He's just a kid who majorly screwed up and he will never be the same again both because of what he did and the punishment he will receive... no matter who his parents are. Just the same as the Hersevoorts will never be the same because its not possible. I pray for peace and forgiveness for all involved in this. I wish we could stand up and come together in this town and put all the judgement aside so all involved could begin to heal from this horrible accident.


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Posted by Well, Guess Again
a resident of Old Towne
on Apr 22, 2014 at 5:52 am

Good God, that was the most inconsiderably long-winded and prattling "excuse" for an "allegedly" insolent implacable "killer", who is obviously "guilty" of mowing two people off the tarmac! You may really want to lay off the "coffee"? You want a long one, go ask Alice!

He is beyond lucky to get a deal, but he doesn't deserve any deal! He would have been utterly skewered in a trial and Christmas came early for Hellboy. You can't blame her husband and loved ones for not wanting or being able to endure/stomach a sickening stinking trial. Lord knows it's safe to assume that they'd rather not have to look at his vacant face ever again! And you think he got unfairly judged and didn't get to defend himself?

Apologists mentioning fabrications, overcharging the case and trying to ban cyclists from Foothill Road are just transparent shills who should quit trying to blame others for a unique and unfathomable nightmare. Pretty evil to even think about painting cyclists as the problem in this unholy instance. You see, when you say that you are going to do something, and you follow through and do that exact thing, it isn't a fabrication, it is a "plan". You say you are out of control and you are, and it's all too real.

There is no excuse for anyone posting about a "death ride" and fulfilling that evil urge! You can say he was 17 all you want, it doesn't mean a thing here now. Cody Hall is not the "Eagle Scout" that you wish to portray him to be so stop embarrassing yourself. He murdered someone in direct reflection to what he said and thought, online and elsewhere. There's a lot of evil people in the world, however the good law abiding people of the area are not here to compare other cases and try to draw parallels or attempt to dilute the horrific avoidable disaster that has occurred here. That would be pathetic, in bad taste and vile.

The people should deliver a petition/request to the judge to put a lifetime yank on his license as a requirement to the plea!

Otherwise, we are left to pray that some enterprising dark stranger will meet the menace and stab, gouge and rip Cody Halls eyes as just rewards so that he can't ever drive like a deviant fiend again!


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Posted by Sargent Hulka
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 22, 2014 at 7:14 am

Lighten up francis


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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Apr 22, 2014 at 7:33 am

Just one question: When Cody gets out in five years or so at an age of about 23, is he going to be eligible to get another driver's license?


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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Apr 22, 2014 at 7:42 am

@Alicia
You ask us to forgive Cody Hall. Did Cody ever apologize or ask for forgiveness in any of his court appearances or at any other time for the tragedy that he and he alone is responsible for? That has to happen first.


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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 8:27 am

Time and time again whenever someone of Caucasoid ancestry breaks the law and kills, injures or maims another in our esteemed town, the soft liberal morons come out and say what a good person he was, they knew him growing up, etc. and he doesn't deserve to face any consequences for his actions. Yet if it were a minority from out of town, they'd be outraged and demanding harsher penalties. And I'm the one who's racist?


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Posted by Not nearly enough
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:32 am

I am standing up and cheering for Well, Guess Again. Well said, literate and absolutely on point.

This sociopath deserves to be ruined for life for the stealing of the life of an innocent person. No mercy, no redemption, no sorrow for Cody, he deserves none. Ask yourself how many times he has shown the slightest bit of remorse or asked for ANY forgiveness from the family for his murderous death ride.

If you are one of the fools who try to make excuses for him them you should pray that he is not the driver when YOU are out riding your bike. You could also end up dead, and how would you justify his actions then?

He deserves to be locked up for life, unfortunately that will not happen. I also hope that he never makes it out of prison as he will just get another license and kill again. He is beyond redemption, he deserves the worst that prison can hand him.


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm

I agree no cyclist on Foothill. It is a very dangerous road. Go visit the memorial on Foothill and you will see just how dangerous this area was for anyone to be walking or riding. I am so sadden for all involved in this tradegy. Very Very sad. A family who will mourn a lost forever and another family who also will endure pain and suffering for years. This young man will have much more ahead of him. So for those of you who do not believe that he got justice wake up! I pray that you and your family never have to go through such a tragedy. I really feel sorry for you haters. It's one thing to feel mourning for Diane's life being taken and another to go through this world be a hater on a young mad who will forever live with the stupid judgement call he made at nearly 18 years of age! You don't know all the facts and never will because there is no trial. I believe that it was the DA that came to the table with a plea bargain. I don't believe anyone had a decision about that except for the defendent himself.


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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Apr 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

@Wow "You don't know all the facts and never will because there is no trial. "

We know that he was going 83 mph on Foothill when he killed the bicyclist. What other important facts don't we know?


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

"Wow" seems to want to blame the victims for getting run over. It was somehow their fault. And please stop calling people "haters". I don't "hate" this person.


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Posted by Watch the Halls Burn!
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Apr 23, 2014 at 1:48 am

If he was so eager to defend himself with facts and tell his side of the murder, why did Mr innocent take the deal? Was it placed in a box with a red bow on top to lure him to comply? And why does he always have that dour look of inconvenience being placed upon him? Huh? Surely those were tears of joy, because there's no excuse or explanation to offer that could ever sway a jury or any person with a conscience. If you feel sorry for all of us "haters", why don't you disappear. I'll personally hate whomever I want to hate, and that includes anyone that is here pretending to care, or trying to attack cyclists as if they are a nuisance. You know who you are so look in the mirror and go to Hell!

Large visitors are waiting for him now and his "honeymoon awakening" has only just begun.


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Posted by pleasantonwasnice40yearsago
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 23, 2014 at 9:07 am

If California keeps handing out drivers license's like candy on Halloween expect more of this.


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Posted by Lower the speed limit to 30mph on Foothill Road
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Apr 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Or ban cars on Foothill altogether, you can drive around or walk or take the Foothill Shuttle running every 20 minutes to your spacious abodes!


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Posted by Dennis Falls
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm


All I can say is if that is true regarding his father, he set him up to fail by not setting a good example. Nine years for a small, young man in prison? He may go in a ignorant boy, but he will exit as someone's wife.


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Posted by Dennis Falls
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm


All I can say is if that is true regarding his father, he set him up to fail by not setting a good example. Nine years for a small, young man in prison? He may go in a ignorant boy, but he will exit as someone's wife.


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Posted by Dennis Falls
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm


All I can say is if that is true regarding his father, he set him up to fail by not setting a good example. Nine years for a small, young man in prison? He may go in a ignorant boy, but he will exit as someone's wife.


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