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Archive for April, 2007

Jake Boysel Trial

The trial of The People versus Ernesto Botello finished jury selection
this afternoon, and the trial itself will begin Tuesday, April 17. The
charge brought by SB County aganst Botello is vehicular manslaughter in
the death of Jake Boysel, the 12-year old bicyclist hit last September.

The trial judge Clifford Anderson, defense attorney Neil Levinson, &
prosecuting attorney Ali Neufer asked numerous questions to prosective
jurors from a jury pool of 100, & many were dismissed for one reason or
another. One of the dismissed women stated that she used to bike with
her 12-year old son to school, but stopped after the Boysel death; she
was excused from duty. Reporters from at least the SB News-Press & SB
Newsroom attended today.

The jury of 12 individuals, 6 men & 6 women, plus 3 alternates were
selected by 5:00 today. Their average age seemed to be about 40 years old.

What impressed me today was the extent with which the legal system in our
democracy goes to obtain a fair, unprejudiced trial. Judge Andeson
stressed that individual jurors may agree or disagree with the law, but
they have to set aside their individual emotions & experiences in
consideration of guilt or innocence of Botello.

Tuesday morning will begin with opening statements by the prosecution,
describing what evidence they will present in the trial. The defense may
or may not offer opening statements. Then the prosecution will proceed
with their case, followed by the defense, closing statements by both
sides, then jury deliberation. If the jury deems Botello guilty, the
judge will administer a sentence on the defendent.

Expected trial dates this week are:

Tuesday, 10:00 AM-4:30 PM
Wednesday 8:30 AM-12:00 noon
Thursday, 10:00 AM-4:30 PM
Friday-Saturday, nothing

All are in Room 10 in the Courthouse Annex building at 118 East Figueroa
Street, Santa
Barbara. The trial will continue into next week.

~~ Ralph Fertig, President
~~ Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

Farmworker Transit planning underway

With new transit plans, farmworkers may get a reliable, safe way to get to the fields

Date: 04/12/2007

It may have taken two and a half years of advocacy, but Santa Barbara County is off and running toward obtaining actual vans and a plan to make farmworkers’ trips to work more safe, reliable, and affordable.


Boysle Trial

Seven months after Jake Boysel was hit & killed while biking to school in
Santa Barbara, a trial will begin. The driver of the SUV that hit Jake,
Ernesto Botello, is charged by the County with vehicular manslaughter.

The County’s prosecuting attorney Ali Neufer said that jury selection
will begin on Tuesday, April 10th. It will continue on April 11th & if
completed in time, initial arguments will begin that day. She said that
it will take place in the courtroom of Judge Clifford Anderson, Room 10
in the Courthouse Annex building at 118 East Figueroa Street, Santa
Barbara. The trial is expected to take several days & end the following

It was a lovely sunny morning on September 6, 2006 as 12-year old Jake
Boysel biked toward La Colina Junior High School for classes. He was
doing everything right, pedaling uphill in the Calle Real bikelane, but
he never made it to school. Hit from behind by Ernesto Botello, Jake was
thrown off his bike, hit the ground and never regained consciousness. His
shoes, backpack, and helmet were torn off. His mountain bike was broken
in two. Everybody mourned the tragic, senseless loss.

I have no idea how the trial will end, however I join others in hoping
that it will result in greater awareness of bicyclists, greater safety
for all, and justice for our community.

~~ Ralph Fertig, President
~~ Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition