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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
A day after George Weller was placed on probation, his lawyers say his trial was a waste of time and money because their client was willing months ago to plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the deaths of 10 people at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. But Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Tuesday that Weller still had not accepted responsibility for the highest number of pedestrian fatalities from a traffic accident in California history.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 2006 | From Times staff reports
Santa Monica officials said Wednesday that Timothy Jackman had been hired as the city's police chief. Jackman, a 23-year Long Beach Police Department veteran, was deputy chief of that department for the last four years. He will replace James T. Butts Jr., who after 15 years as chief of the Santa Monica force left in August to become the "security czar" for Los Angeles' four airports. Jackman, 47, has a bachelor's degree from the University of the State of New York and an MBA from UC Irvine.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2006 | John Spano and Martha Groves, Times Staff Writers
Rejecting the portrait of an old man who made a tragic mistake in his maroon Buick, a jury Friday found George Russell Weller guilty of felony manslaughter for running down and killing 10 people at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market in a case that set off a debate about licensing older drivers. Weller, 89, was allowed to miss the trial because he is ailing, and he was not in Los Angeles County Superior Court when the verdict was read. He could be sentenced to 18 years in prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
As jurors begin their first full day of deliberations today in the Santa Monica Farmers' Market trial, they face an unusual twist: Key law enforcement officers testified for the defense of George Weller, the 89-year-old charged with manslaughter in the deaths of 10 shoppers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors were told to listen to the dead as they began deliberations Friday in the case of George Weller, on trial for 10 counts of manslaughter after he drove his car through an open-air market three years ago. "Dead bodies do speak," Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Ambrose said in her closing arguments. "They do tell you something. They tell you where they were. They tell you of their injuries."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors should believe dozens of Santa Monica residents who saw George Weller repeatedly turn the wheel, hit the brakes, and accelerate his car through a farmers' market three years ago, the prosecutor said Thursday. If Weller could see and steer, he could have stopped before killing 10 pedestrians, Deputy Dist. Atty. Ann Ambrose said in closing arguments in Weller's manslaughter trial. The prosecution closed its case against Weller, now 89, on Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
Jurors virtually sat behind George Russell Weller's steering wheel Tuesday, seeing a specially prepared graphic re-creation of his deadly 20-second drive through an open-air market three years ago. With the view that the 86-year-old Weller had through the windshield of his 1992 Buick, jurors could see and feel jarring impacts as he crashed at freeway speeds through the crowded market, striking dozens of stalls and injuring more than 70 people, 10 of them fatally.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
George Russell Weller showed the classic symptoms of pedal error and panic when he drove through an open-air market in Santa Monica three years ago, killing 10 people and injuring more than 60, jurors were told Friday. During testimony in Weller's manslaughter trial, Richard Schmidt, a professor of psychology specializing in motor function and control, used basketball star Shaquille O'Neal's notorious inability to shoot free throws to explain part of the incident.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2006 | John Spano and Michael Muskal, Times Staff Writers
More than an hour after he drove through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, leaving 10 people dead, George Russell Weller sat in a stark room at the police station shrouded in misery and frustration. "In that course of that one block, I knocked over those stands and hit those people," Weller, then 86, said the day of the 2003 tragedy. "When I finally came to a rest, [I said,] my God, what have I done?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2006 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
George Russell Weller felt he was lucky that he didn't have to pass a driving test the last time his California license was renewed, he told police after he drove through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, killing 10 people and injuring more than 60 three years ago. Weller, now 89, told police that he took a written test, but wasn't required to show that he could drive safely. "I lucked out," Weller said.
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