Preliminary Ruling Labels Slain Delaware Medic as a "Firefighter"

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Superior Court judge has ruled that a Delaware City ambulance driver killed while tending to an injured man on a median was a "firefighter" under state law.

Judge Jerome Herlihy made the ruling Wednesday in the bench trial of 29-year-old Joseph Taye, who is charged in the death of Michelle Smith in December 2008. Under state law, a person who kills a firefighter on duty can be charged with murder.

But Herlihy says his ruling is preliminary and is not his final ruling on the facts.

Taye's attorney conceded that his client was driving the car that hit Smith and that his client's actions were "less than careful" that night. But he had argued that state law doesn't define firefighter and Smith was acting as an ambulance driver.

Information from: The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal,


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Views: 69

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It makes me sick that it takes a court judge to define what we already know. The suspect made a choice to drink and drive. Firefighter, medic, law enforcement officer, chief, volunteer. The list goes on. This guy was killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver. The driver should account for his actions. Thanks to the political correctness of legislators and the PC police.

I'm with you in spirit - firefighter or medic, someone was killed in the performance of her duty. But I'm not sure what the judge was thinking in his preliminary finding with regard to a medic being considered a firefighter. The Law is usually all about its letter as opposed to its spirit, so I wonder whether this ruling will actually hold up.
Fire fighter or Medic, whats the diffrence here, the man is still a murderer, and thus should suffer the consequences of his actions.
Let me suggest that you google and read about the story of Christa Burchett. The driver who killed Asst.Chief/EMS Director Burchett and a civillian pregnant woman walked away with fines and a slap on the wrist. A travesty of justice.
Shame Shame Shame!!!
You talkin' to me?

Reply to Discussion


Find Members Fast

Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2023   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service