Jeffrey Francis Woods was high on Xanax and Hydrocodone/Vicodin the summer afternoon of 2007 he plowed his speeding Ford F150 truck into Danny Oates, who was riding his bicycle in a Huntington Beach bicycle lane. The 14-year-old, who was going to school with a friend to get class schedules for the upcoming school year, flew 205 feet in the air, ricocheted off a tree, hit the pavement, and rolled before dying in the street of massive blunt force trauma.
Woods, who was later convicted of manslaughter, just lost his appeal of the six-years prison sentence. The grounds for the appeal are jaw-dropping.
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A minute before the crash, Woods sent a text message to a friend boasting he was high on Xanax and Hydrocodone/Vicodin. Investigators later discovered that in the hours and day prior to the tragedy, he also texted friends and an ex-girlfriend about obtaining the very drugs that were in his system that summer afternoon he was erratically driving 63 mph in a 40-mph zone.
The judge in case filed a brief before the trial against Woods began indicating the text messages would be offered into evidence. Woods' lawyers argued against that, maintaining it was irrelevant to whether Woods was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Woods' appeal of the his gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated conviction and sentence once again tried to argue the trial judge was wrong to admit the text messages, and that there was insufficient evidence to conclude he was impaired while driving.
The state appeals court was succinct this week in shooting Woods down again: "Neither of his contentions have merit, and we affirm the judgment."