Driver Who Hits Bicyclists Charged with Murder

An 18 year old man driving 83 mph in a 40 mph zone collided with two bicyclists and killed one of them.  According to a Pleasonton Patch news article, the prosecutors initially charged the man with vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving.  However, after reviewing the man's twitter account and past driving record the prosecutors upgraded the charge to murder. 

The Patch reports the man previously tweeted:  "Drive fast live young." "Someone come on a death ride with me!!!"  Here in Wisconsin bicycle advocates are working hard to try to pass a vulnerable user law that allows criminal penalties when drivers injure or kill bicyclists under certain circumstances. 

To prove the murder charge in California, the prosecutors will have to prove actual or implied malice:

The defendant acted with express malice if he unlawfully intended to kill.

The defendant acted with implied malice if:

1. He intentionally committed an act;
2. The natural consequences of the act were dangerous to human life;
3. At the time he acted, he knew his act was dangerous to human life;
4. He deliberately acted with conscious disregard for human life.

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