Although we like to think celebrities lead charmed lives, they are not above the law. Celebrities get charged with DUI, have auto accidents, and even kill other people, whether on purpose or by accident. Did you know which public figures are actually celebrity killers?
- Matthew Broderick, husband of Sarah Jessica Parker, and former Ferris Bueller actor was driving in Ireland in 1987 with his girlfriend Jennifer Grey when he was involved in a fatal car collision. Apparently Broderick veered into the wrong lane, crashing into an oncoming car. Both driver and passenger in the other car were killed instantly. Broderick spent an entire month in the hospital, but was never able to adequately explain what happened since he suffered memory loss from the accident. Broderick was not drinking or otherwise impaired at the time, and was eventually convicted of careless driving and penalized with a $175 fine.
- In 1984, Motley Crue front man, Vince Neil Wharton, was arrested following an auto collision, which killed a fellow musician and seriously injured two other people. Wharton’s car spun out of control, colliding head-on with a Volkswagen. Wharton’s passenger, a drummer was killed, while an 18-year old woman and a 24-year old man in the other car both suffered severe head injuries. Wharton registered a .17 BAC following the accident. Wharton pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter from the accident which occurred in Redondo Beach. The LA County District Attorney agreed to forego seeking a prison term for Wharton in return for community service and restitution to the surviving victims and the dead musician’s family.
- In her memoir, Spoken from the Heart, former First Lady, Laura Bush talks about hitting another car when she was in high school after running a stop sign. The driver of the other car—who happened to be a friend of Bush’s—suffered fatal injuries, however no charges were filed.
- Don King, the wild-haired boxing promoter, actually was responsible for the death of two people. In 1954, King shot and killed a man named Hillary Brown. However, the death was ruled justifiable since Brown was trying to rob one of King’s gambling stations. Then in 1966, King was involved in a fight with an employee, Sam Garrett. During the scuffle, King stomped and pistol whipped Garrett to death. He was convicted of manslaughter and spent four years in prison.
- Many older people are familiar with the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident in which Ted Kennedy, after spending a night partying with a young woman who was not his wife, crashed his car off a bridge. The young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, died in the accident and Kennedy left the scene of the accident, failing to report the incident for nine hours. Kennedy received a two-month suspended sentence.
- Another political figure, former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, was driving in France in 1968 when he apparently caused a head-on collision which killed Leola Anderson and injured several others. Romney was a missionary at the time, and the woman was his pastor’s wife.
- Actor Robert Blake was arrested and charged with murder after his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, was shot and killed outside a California restaurant. Blake claimed he was still inside the restaurant at the time of the shooting, retrieving a gun he’d left at his table. Despite testimony from two men who claimed Blake had attempted to recruit them to kill Bakley, Blake was found not guilty. Later, Bakley’s three children filed a civil suit against Blake and he was found liable for the wrongful death of his wife.
- Eccentric billionaire, Howard Hughes, was charged with negligent homicide after killing pedestrian Gabriel Meyer while driving in Los Angeles. A witness, who first said Hughes swerved into a safety zone at a streetcar stop later changed his story and all charges were dropped.
- One of the most influential writers of the 20th century, William S. Burroughs, shot and killed his common-law wife in 1951 in Mexico City. Burroughs first claimed they were playing a drunken game known as William Tell and that he was shooting a water glass off Joan Vollmer’s head when he accidently shot her in the head. Later, on the advice of his attorney, Burroughs claimed the gun accidentally discharged. Burroughs spent a year in legal maneuvers, and was eventually found guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to two years in jail, but the sentence was suspended, and, in all, Burroughs spent about two weeks in jail.
10. In 1965 Mork and Mindy and Designing Women actress, Fay DeWitt, was charged with murder after she allegedly stabbed her ex-husband, playwright Ray Allen, to death with a letter opener. The next day the charges were dropped after it was determined Allen broke into DeWitt’s home, and, in a drunken rage, began banging her head against a wall.
Many more celebrities have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. One thing celebrities and “regular” people have in common is that when charged with murder, it is essential to have a highly experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight hard for the rights of the person charged.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or someone you love is facing serious criminal charges, such as manslaughter or murder, you need an experienced Boulder criminal defense lawyer on your side from the very start. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.