Brandon Spikes – or whoever was driving his car early Sunday morning on I-495 – could face charges that technically carry up to two years in prison.
But prosecutors would likely be fighting an uphill battle to get a conviction, and jail time is highly unlikely, according to local defense attorneys.
At about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a report of a vehicle abandoned on the median on I-495. An OnStar representative notified police that the car’s driver had reported hitting a deer, according to a statement by Massachusetts State Police.
The abandoned vehicle was a Mercedes Maybach with a damaged front end.
Around the same time, police received a report that a Nissan Murano had been rear-ended by a vehicle in the same vicinity. The Murano’s three occupants were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
The Maybach belongs to Brandon Spikes, who was a New England Patriots linebacker until the team released him Monday morning.
State Trooper Matthew Guarino told Boston.com that whoever was driving Spikes’ car is likely to face at least one charge.
Stephen L. Jones, dubbed the “dean of drunken driving defense lawyers in Massachusetts’’ said the only charge would be leaving the scene of an accident.
Police have said nothing about whether or not the individual driving the Maybach was intoxicated.
“If someone rear ends a vehicle, their responsibility is to stay and make themselves known. Otherwise they can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident,’’ Jones said.
Prosecutors would need to prove that Spikes was operating the motor vehicle at the time of the incident, Jones said.
“From what I’m hearing, it’s not even close to possible for a prosecutor to win this,’’ Jones said. “The fact that a car was damaged and left somewhere and registered to someone means absolutely nothing.’’
Defense attorney Russell Matson agrees.
“This case is really not about leaving the scene of the accident. It’s really about Brandon Spikes and the Patriots,’’ Matson said.
“Sometimes all they know is who the car is registered to,’’ Matson said. “So then they’ll try to talk to him. But assume he has a lawyer. If you have any brains as a lawyer you’re gonna prevent that from happening. If Spikes is smart, he is only talking to lawyers and not the police today.’’
Unless there’s “more to the story,’’ Matson said Spikes won’t face serious charges. That is, if he was even the individual in the driver’s seat at the time of the incident.
“It’s not like he’s gonna go to jail or something.’’
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