Prosecution request severe sentence for hit-and-run driver

Tal Mor convicted of manslaughter, abandoning scene of accident after killing cyclist; he dragged cyclist's body for 100s of meters along road.

October 4, 2011 18:20
3 minute read.
Car after hit-and-run accident [illustrative]

hit and run car 311. (photo credit: Court Services)


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The widow of Shneur Cheshin wept Tuesday as she described how she and her three small children had been left “wounded, bruised and broken” after Tal Mor killed her husband in a hit-and-run on Route 5 last June.

In a moving speech before the Central District Court in Petah Tikva, Danit Cheshin said her children still speak with their father as if he were alive.

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Tal Mor convicted of June hit-and-run death of cyclist
Tal Mor indicted for manslaughter

“Our son Itamar asked you this week to ask God’s permission to come down at night and keep him safe,” Danit said.

Mor, 27, was convicted of Cheshin’s manslaughter last week.

He was also convicted of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and of abandoning the scene of an accident, possession of drugs, obstruction of justice and driving without a valid license or insurance.

The court heard how Mor had drunk copious amounts of alcohol and also consumed illegal drugs during a Tel Aviv pub crawl shortly before he struck and killed Cheshin, as he cycled along Route 5.

After hitting Cheshin, Mor dragged the cyclist’s body for hundreds of meters along the road.

However, he did not stop to offer help, but drove home and later told his insurance agent he had “hit a tree” to explain the damage to his car.

In Tuesday’s hearing, lawyer Aviv Sharon, prosecuting, dubbed the hit-and-run accident “one of the most ugly and despicable crimes in the book” and asked the court to hand down a harsh sentence of up to 20 years to Mor.

“[Hit-and-run accidents] violate social solidarity, they violate mutual responsibility between people, it places the personal interests [of the driver] above that of the victim lying in his own blood and in need of immediate aid that could save his life,” said Sharon.

The lawyer criticized Mor’s use of alcohol and drugs before the accident and said the 27-year-old should not be considered a normative individual.

“The defendant admits freely that he regularly used drugs and that he kept a stash of drugs at home,” said Sharon.

Mor also saved photographs of himself smoking drugs on his computer, Sharon noted.

Sharon also slammed Mor for not confessing to running over Cheshin. Mor had shown a lack of accountability for the crime, he said.

“The court stated unequivocally in its ruling that the defendant had wept only for himself and not out of any empathy for the victim’s family,” continued Sharon, who told the court that Shai Simon, the defendant in a similar case, had been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

Lawyer Tami Ulman, defending, said the prosecution was demanding a far harsher sentence than usually requested for those convicted of manslaughter in car accidents.

Ulman also said the court should take into account that Cheshin had undertaken a dangerous act by cycling on a highway early in the morning.

The appropriate punishment should be no more than five or six years imprisonment, the same as in other similar cases, said Ulman.

At the end of the hearing Mor gave a long statement to the court in which he asked Cheshin’s family for forgiveness for the first time since his arrest.

“I cannot look his wife in the eye, and I am tied to the suffering she is going through,” Mor said.

“The family was destroyed and I’ll regret that my whole life.” Mor apologized to his friends and family and said he had been “terrified” in prison.

“I was surrounded by criminal values about which I was not educated, and that I hadn’t had in my life,” he said. “The accident enlightened me about the significance and meaning of a car as something used to kill.”

In addition to this criminal suit, Cheshin’s family has also filed a civil suit against Mor, the court learned.

Mor will be sentenced in the Central District Court on October 23. slaughter last week. He was also convicted of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and of abandoning the scene of an accident, possession of drugs, obstruction of justice and driving without a valid license or insurance.

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