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California Briefing / San Francisco

Farmers market verdict is upheld

September 18, 2009|Maura Dolan

The California Supreme Court refused Thursday to review the conviction of an elderly man who plowed his car through the Santa Monica farmers market in 2003, killing 10 people and injuring 63. As a result, his conviction stands.

George Russell Weller was 86 on July 16, 2003, when he crashed his 1992 Buick LeSabre through a wooden-and-plastic barricade and plowed through pedestrians at the open-air market. Though lasting less than 20 seconds, the mayhem claimed, among others, an infant, a 3-year-old, a married couple, a homeless man and an octogenarian.

Weller was convicted in 2005 on 10 counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for one of the worst pedestrian tragedies in U.S. history. Weller was sentenced to five years' probation. He is confined to his home and receives 24-hour nursing care.

-- Maura Dolan

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