Judge Throws Out Charges In Fatal Airplane Crash

Tuesday, October 30th 2007, 10:41 am
By: News On 6

For the second time this year, a Delaware County District Court judge has thrown out first-degree manslaughter charges against Brent Caldwell in the deaths of three men in December of last year. Caldwell was the pilot of a plane, which crashed into Grand Lake, killing 15-year-old Mariano Carlos, 20-year-old Everado Robles and 33-year-old Eulalio Gonzalez Campos.

During a court hearing Tuesday, District Court judge Robert Haney said there was not enough evidence submitted by the state to warrant the re-filing of charges in the case.

In May, Judge Haney dismissed charges against Caldwell, saying prosecutors did not show he had done anything illegal to cause the plane to stall and crash into Grand Lake.

Delaware County assistant District Attorney Bryce Lair says he does not plan to appeal the judge's decision.

“Of course, my office, with all due respect to the Court, completely disagrees with his decision, but at some point we have to be realistic and acknowledge the fact that this judge does not believe that what Mr. Caldwell is accused of doing is a crime and that regardless of how we procedurally attack this case we will not be able to get it to trial,” said assistant DA Bryce Lair.

Earlier this month, Lair re-filed the charges based on the final crash report. The report from the National Transportation Safety Board says the cause of the crash was darkness and a lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

To read the NTSB report, click here.

Watch the video: Charges Dropped In Fatal Plane Crash

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