A jury found Matthew Pumar guilty today, Sept. 12, of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the death of William Ware -- who was killed on the morning of June 21, 2012 after Pumar sped through a red light at California Street and Escuela Avenue.
Jim Ware, the brother of the 50-year-old Mountain View man killed by Pumar's gray Audi A4 while he waited for the bus, said he was pleased with the verdict, but added that there are "no winners" in the ruling.
"It's incredibly sad for both families," Ware said outside the Palo Alto branch of the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Ware said he had no opinion on how Pumar should be sentenced. "We got justice for Bill, we're not looking to get revenge for Bill."
Prosecutors and police said that Pumar ran a red light and swerved to avoid an oncoming truck making a lawful left turn. His car ran up on the sidewalk and hit Ware, who was waiting at the bus stop.
For his crime, the 22-year-old Mountain View man faces the possibility of six years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 87 of the Palo Alto courthouse.
Pumar, who appeared visibly nervous before the verdict was read, reacted to the ruling with a look of shock before hanging his head.
After the jury was dismissed, Deputy District Attorney Duffy Magilligan asked the judge that Pumar be taken into custody at once. Pumar's attorney, Dennis Smith, asked that his client be allowed to remain out of jail on supervised own recognizance until his sentencing date. While Judge Allison Danner said she understood Magilligan's concern, she ruled that Pumar may remain out of jail for the time being, but instructed him to report to the probation department within three business days.
Smith spoke briefly with the Voice after the verdict. As Pumar stood silently next to him, Smith said he was "disappointed" with the ruling.
"We thought we put on a strong defense," Smith said, adding, "Matt will get through it. Hopefully, down the road, he'll learn from this lesson and get on with his life."
Ware said he hopes that many lessons can be taken from the death of his brother. He said he was pleased to see that the City of Mountain View has made moves to improve the safety of certain local intersections in the time since his brother died. He also said that he didn't feel Pumar was a bad person.
"He's a kid that made a real bad decision, and my brother paid for it with his life," Ware said, adding that he hopes some good might come from the tragedy.