Todd Harrell of the band 3 Doors Down knows that "When it's all said and done, it gets hard but it won't take away my love." In the bassist's case, however, it might be a love for alcohol and prescription pills.
Harrell was arrested late Friday after a fatal crash in Nashville, Tennessee. The musician posted $100,000 bail on charges including vehicular homicide while intoxicated.
When people think of "homicide," they may think of a grisly "Law and Order" scene, but not all homicides are committed with malicious intent. This is especially the case with vehicular homicide.
In Tennessee, vehicular homicide with intoxication is defined as the reckless killing of someone with a car, plane, boat, or other motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
To show recklessness, prosecutors need to prove that the driver acted with conscious disregard to the situation that created a substantial risk of death or serious injury to the victim. Both drunken driving and drugged driving can be used as proof of recklessness.
In Harrell's case, he was allegedly driving while drinking and taking the prescription drugs Lortab and Xanax, reports The Huffington Post. If that's true, then the prosecution won't have difficulty proving that he was reckless.
Another common way of proving recklessness is when a death results from street racing.
Though there's nothing to indicate Harrell was racing, police say the rock star was speeding when he clipped a pickup truck that lost control and flipped, killing the driver. The combination of alcohol, prescription pills, and speeding will likely point to recklessness.
But Harrell's criminal defense attorney may have a potential defense, as the driver of the pickup truck wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, according to TMZ. It's a tough argument because of Harrell's alleged intoxication at the time, but a lawyer could try to argue that the seatbelt was the difference between life and death.
As 3 Doors Down's Todd Harrell is also accused of sneaking Xanax, oxycodone and oxymorphone pills into jail, the court may ultimately look into treatment options for him. Let's hope he gets clean soon.
- Police: Bassist for rock band 3 Doors Down charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication (The Associated Press)
- Tennessee DUI Laws (FindLaw)
- Teen DUI Suspect Rams Vegas Restaurant; 10 Hurt (FindLaw's Blotter)
- How to Expunge a DUI Conviction (FindLaw's Blotter)