The yellow light. That's a main point on which the DUI manslaughter trial of former Yankee, Jim Leyritz, rests today. "The critical decision for jurors is whether or not Letritz ran a red light or had yellow before the crash, meaning [Fredia Ann] Veitch [the victim] would have run the light," according to the AP.
If we want to get really deep about it, this point of contingency could be extended as a metaphor for Leyritz's life since December 28, 2007, when he allegedly plowed through an intersection after a night of drinking, killing a woman driving in the opposite direction. For almost three years, Leyritz has been in legal purgatory, waiting for either a green light so he can move on with life or a red light so he can do his time in the clink. His defense team, not surprisingly, is prolonging the limbo, teaching us all the valuable (invaluable?) lesson, the light is always yellow until proven otherwise. And sometimes, it cannot be proven otherwise. With this, New Times presents the Top 5 Lessons we've learned throughout the Leyritz trial, the recap edition.
5. Hire a kick-ass attorney. In this corner of the world, David Bogenschutz is the man. He's a leading criminal-defense attorney, and covers the asses of a lot of high-powered people like "former Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne; the wife of Fort Lauderdale's police chief...billionaire businessman H. Wayne Huizenga's son Robert Ray Huizenga; and Chicago costume-jewelry heir Ryan LeVin," according to the Sun-Sentinel. If anyone has a shot at landing an unexpectedly lenient sentence, he's the guy.
4. Know that experts can manipulate anything in your favor. Defense experts testified that it is possible Leyritz was drunker at the time of the breathalyzer than he was when he was driving. A last minute shot or so would allow for that possibility, which brings us to the next lesson...
3. Pace your drinking -- and time your shots...for right before you drive. Depending how close you live to the bar, your buzz could hit you just as you put your car in park in the driveway. Just don't linger after a nightcap. Actually, don't try this at home -- just absorb it for what it is, a courtroom antic that leaves everyone scratching their heads.
2. Be famous. Oh, and a head injury doesn't hurt (well, in these situations). Having a fan-base who remembers what you were like before you majorly screwed up usually helps matters. And an injury that connects to the trial...gold. Leyritz suffered a concussion at the time of the accident, according to his defense, which could have resulted in his body processing the alcohol more slowly -- and making a blood alcohol test unreliable.
1. Don't drink and drive. Above, below, or one shot away from the legal limit, it's a dangerous and majorly stressful line to walk, especially when you can't touch your nose. If you're stupid enough to drive without giving this some thought, killing someone is a tragic and very real possibility. And at its most basic level, this entire case is just that, an an awful tragedy that could have been avoided. This might sound like you're mother's advice, but it's worth repeating. So, Call.A.Taxi -- or a limo if you're rich and famous.