Darren Bullock, 22, and Tavon Taylor, 20, are having their days in court over their alleged roles in a 2008 drag racing accident that killed eight people and injured five others.
The two natives of Waldorf, Md., are believed to have been racing each other in the early morning hours of Feb. 16, 2008, on Indian Head Highway in Accokeek, Md. A large crowd was gathered on the highway to watch a different illegal street race on the dark road. The two men are alleged to have driven into that crowd.
Bullock decided to forgo his trial and pleaded guilty to eight counts of vehicular manslaughter Jan. 29.
“Today’s plea will not bring back the lives of those killed on that tragic day, but today’s conviction holds Darren Bullock accountable for his actions,” said Prince George’s States Attorney Glenn Ivey in a Jan. 29 press release. “The guidelines of this case were probation [up] to four years. Mr. Bullock will be sentenced on March 1 to 15 years in prison for vehicular manslaughter.”
Taylor, on the other hand, decided to take his chances in court. Taylor’s trial, which began on Feb. 1 has already seen its fair share of fireworks.
On Feb. 2, the 9-1-1 tapes of the night in question were played in a courtroom full of family members of the victims who were killed that night.
"One guy lost a foot. There might be a couple dead," said one woman in the crowd who called 9-1-1.
"These people are torn," said a man who drove by the accident scene.
"You mean there are people who are dismembered?" a dispatcher responded.
"Yes," the motorist replied.
Taylor’s lawyer contended that he was there as a witness on the night of the accident, not as one of the racers.
The trial was suspended on Feb. 4 and is set to continue sometime this week.
The AFRO will provide continuous coverage of the case in the weeks to come.