http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2013/09/20/pumar-found-guilty-in-wares-death


Mountain View Voice

News - September 20, 2013

Pumar found guilty in Ware's death

by Nick Veronin

More than a year after his brother's death, Jim Ware said he and the rest of his family can finally begin to move on, now that the man responsible for the tragedy has been found guilty. The trial of Matthew Pumar ended on Sept. 12 — nearly one year and three months after the car Pumar was driving hit and killed William Ware near the intersection of California Street and Escuela Avenue. A jury convicted the 22-year-old Mountain View man of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Ware, a local resident with special needs, was waiting for a bus on June 21, 2012, in the 1800 block of California Street, when, according to police and witness statements, Pumar ran a red light, swerved to avoid an oncoming truck making a lawful left turn, lost control of his Audi A4 and smashed into 50-year-old Ware.

Ware's body was thrown more than 150 feet and one of his legs was severed in the collision. Pumar, who stayed on the scene after the incident, was not arrested until mid-July, about a month later. He pleaded not guilty.

Over the course of the preliminary hearing and the subsequent trial, Pumar's lawyer, Dennis Smith, argued that his client was not driving recklessly on the day of the crash, and attempted to convince the jury that Pumar did not technically run the red light while heading east on California Street that fateful morning, but crossed the threshold of the intersection when he still had a yellow signal.

The prosecutor in the case, Deputy District Attorney Duffy Magilligan, managed to convince the jury otherwise. Throughout the duration of the preliminary hearing and trial Magilligan maintained that Pumar did not only run the red light, but was likely traveling much faster than the posted speed limit on California Street — 35 mph — at the time of the accident.

A police officer called to the witness stand by Magilligan testified that Pumar may have been going upwards of 60 mph at the time he hit Ware — after swerving to avoid the truck, jumping the curb onto the sidewalk and plowing through a street sign.

Ware's older brother, Jim, said he was pleased with the guilty verdict, but was quick to note that there were "no winners" in the ruling.

"It's incredibly sad for both families," Ware said last week, outside the Palo Alto branch of the Santa Clara County Superior Court — adding that he had no opinion on how Pumar should be sentenced. "We got justice for Bill, we're not looking to get revenge for Bill."

For his crime, the 22-year-old Mountain View man faces up to six years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 87 of the Palo Alto courthouse.

Pumar, who appeared visibly nervous before the verdict was read, reacted to the ruling with a look of shock before hanging his head.

After the jury was dismissed on Sept. 12, Magilligan pushed for Pumar to be taken into custody at once. Pumar's attorney, Smith, asked that his client be allowed to remain out of jail on supervised own recognizance until his sentencing date.

While Judge Allison Danner said she understood Magilligan's concern, she ruled that Pumar may remain out of jail for the time being, but instructed him to report to the probation department within three business days.

Smith spoke briefly with the Voice after the verdict. As Pumar stood silently next to him, Smith said he was "disappointed" with the ruling.

"We thought we put on a strong defense," Smith said. "Matt will get through it. Hopefully, down the road, he'll learn from this lesson and get on with his life."

Ware said he hopes that many lessons can be taken from the death of his brother. He said he was pleased to see that Mountain View city officials have made moves to improve the safety of certain local intersections since his brother died. He also said that he didn't feel Pumar was a bad person.

"He's a kid that made a real bad decision, and my brother paid for it with his life," Ware said.

Comments

Posted by Mark, a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm

SIX YEARS??? That is not even CLOSE to justice. This guy CHOSE to get into position where he TURNED HIS CAR INTO A 4,000 LB. UNGUIDED WEAPON THAT WAS TRAVELLING AT 60 MPH!!! He committed 2nd degree MURDER and should be serving about 10-15 years in Pelican Bay = MUCH closer to justice.