Erin Coleman: We continue to follow breaking news. The judge – throughout the criminal charges against the Amtrak engineer involved in a deadly train crash, the judge said it was an accident and not a criminal act. We’re joined now live by defense attorney Laura Laszewski to talk about the ruling and what this means going forward. Laura, thanks for being with us. All right. So what should we make of all this? The case didn’t even make it out of a preliminary hearing.
Laura Laszewski: Well, it’s pretty uncommon of a case of severity. All that has to be shown is if there’s some evidence, if it’s more likely than not that this person committed this crime. So it’s rare that it’s thrown out. But I think this goes to back up the district attorney’s original decision not to file charges in the first place because they didn’t believe there was enough evidence and I think the judge kind of backed them up here.
Erin Coleman: Well, the attorney general’s office says it will review this case. So this might not be the last that we’ve heard about it, right?
Laura Laszewski: Correct. If a case is tossed at a preliminary hearing, the charges can be re-filed. Double jeopardy does not attach until you get to the trial level, until you pick a jury. So if they review the case, believe they have more evidence, then they might be able to re-file and try again.
Erin Coleman: So does this have any impact on the civil side of this case?
Laura Laszewski: It does not. There was some sort of a settlement already. So if they’re not covered, any victims aren’t covered by that settlement, they would still have the right to sue in civil [0:01:14] [Phonetic] court. It’s a different burden, a different standard of proof. So they would absolutely still have all of their civil rights intact no matter what happens with a criminal case.
Erin Coleman: Right. Laura Laszewski, thanks for being here. We appreciate your insight.
Laura Laszewski: Thanks so much.
Male Anchor: Let’s get a bit of a right hand turn now.