Bloom guilty of motor vehicle homicide, manslaughter dismissed
Scotts Bluff County District Judge Randy Lippstreu has found 19 year old Bryan Bloom of Henry guilty of motor vehicle homicide in the death of 18 year old Johrdan Stone June 20, 2011 near the Wyoming-Nebraska state line. Lippstreu also found Bloom guilty of manslaughter in the case, but said the conviction on that charge must be dismissed under double jeopardy rules because manslaughter is a lesser-included offense of motor vehicle homicide. Lippstreu handed down the ruling late Tuesday after last week's bench trial.
Stone died from a fractured neck and head injuries when he stuck his head out from the vehicle Bloom was driving and it struck a temporary road sign in a construction zone.
Judge Lippstreu said the prime cause of death was Bloom driving well in excess of the speed limit and driving the van off the edge of the pavement. Lippstreu also cited Bloom's impaired driving and his measured blood alcohol level of .14. as a proximate cause of death.
Lippstreu said the lateral placement of the sign, which the defense claimed was a major contributing factor in Stone's death, was only a concurring cause and would have had to be the sole proximate cause of death for Bloom to be found not guilty.
Court documents says Bloom had got drunk with Stone in Henry, and decided to drive him back to Torrington while legally intoxicated, running off the road in the construction zone so Stone's head hit the sign.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 14th at 2 p.m.
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