George Russell Weller, the 87-year-old Santa Monica man who drove his sedan through the Santa Monica Farmers Market last year, will stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday, November 3rd. Ten people allegedly died as a result of the incident.
Weller was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, November 17th.
Weller faces ten counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, which could be punishable by up to 18 years in prison if he is convicted.
During a two-week hearing to determine if Weller would face trial, Weller’s attorneys argued that Weller accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal of his 1992 Buick Le Sabre July 16th, 2003, when he drove through the farmers market along Santa Monica’s Arizona Avenue.
The prosecution alleges that Weller was acting negligently and that he sent 63 people to the hospital and killed ten, and that he should be held responsible for this criminal act.
A California Highway Patrol report alleges that Weller had his eyes open and his hands on the steering wheel while his car traveled 995 feet at speeds up to 60 miles per hour.
Those killed ranged from seven months to 78 years old.