More on Stoneham crash trialFox25 Morning News carried the story and videotaped testimony of some of the witnesses in the trial against 65-year-old Enrico Caruso, who was discussed in this weblog earlier today.
The story showed weepy moms telling of how their children were hurt when Caruso's car allegedly barreled out of control through the schoolyard. It was gut-wrenching to watch. The most important testimony shown on Fox this morning (Disclaimer: I'm no screaming conservative, I just like the local news format of the morning show.) was that of Caruso's 9-year-old grandson. According to Fox's report, he told police at the scene of the accident last September that his grandfather's prosthetic leg got caught on the gas pedal. Under oath yesterday he testified that he didn't remember telling police that. Did someone tell him to forget?
There is tragedy all around caused by this accident, but if an adult suggested this boy forget that he told police about his grandfather's prosthesis then an equally serious tragedy has occurred. That is tantamount to witness tampering, though I am no lawyer, judge or cop. How bad is it that the adults who have probably scolded this boy for lying the past might now have condoned it? Make no mistake, I don't fault the boy if he truly forgot what he told police amid all the confusion of seeing his friends and their parents bleeding and being taken away in ambulances.
We'll probably never know for sure if the kid was clever enough to reason that a criminal trial might mean his grandfather will go to jail if he tells the truth under oath. At nine, he probably has been counseled on the moral implications of lying, but he probably wasn't told about the criminal charges associated with lying known as perjury. It's doubtful a prosecutor will charge the kid with perjury for forgetting what he told police seven months ago.
Whatever the case, I hold the kid harmless. I'd like to believe he truly did forget what he said, but I really can't. I believe it is possible that some adult, and not necessarily a family member, perhaps created enough doubt in his impressionable mind as to what he told police that the boy decided to say he couldn't remember. If that's the case, the boy will have to live with that on his conscience, serving as another wound in this tragic accident. |