CHP Recommends Criminal Charges Against Deputy To Killed Cyclists

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - The California Highway Patrol is recommending that criminal charges be filed against a sheriff's deputy who killed two cyclists after crashing his patrol car into a group of them.

The CHP report came after a monthlong investigation into the incident, and says that Santa Clara County prosecutors should file two misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges against Deputy James
Council, 27.

Council was on patrol March 9 when his patrol car smashed into a
group of training cyclists. Matt Peterson, 29, and Kristy Gough, 30, died.

If convicted Council could serve up to two years in jail, the report's conclusions show CHP investigators do not believe the deputy is guilty of gross negligence such as drunken driving, a felony charge with much harsher penalties.

The Santa Clara County district attorney's office is reviewing the report and will decide whether or not to file charges.

Information from: San Jose Mercury News,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-04-12-08 2243EDT

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