Original Sentence Holds In Fatal Collision With Biker

Original Sentence Holds In Fatal Collision With Biker
Jonathan Kidder

SNOW HILL — A Berlin man, convicted in 2018 of negligent homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence after a fatal hit-and-run collision, was back in court last week for a re-sentencing hearing and essentially will serve the same time originally sentenced.

In November 2018, after two days, 100 exhibits and testimony from four experts, a Worcester County jury found Jonathan Kidder, now 61, of Berlin, guilty on all six counts against him from the May 2018 incident during which he struck and killed a bicyclist on Route 589 before leaving the scene. Just minutes later, the impaired Kidder caused another accident on Route 50 in West Ocean City.

Kidder was convicted of negligent homicide by motor vehicle and for that count he was sentenced to 10 years, five or which were suspended. On count three-failure to immediately stop at the scene of an accident involving death, Kidder was sentenced to 10 years, with five years suspended, which was to be served consecutively to the negligent homicide count.

Kidder than filed an appeal with the state Court of Special Appeals, challenging various aspects of the trial, jury selection and other elements of the case. Kidder posed five different questions in the appeal. The Court of Special Appeals dismissed four of the appeal questions, but agreed with Kidder on one of them, which could have resulted in a reduction of his sentence.

Kidder was back in Worcester County Circuit Court last Friday for a re-sentencing hearing after the appeals court overturned his conviction on the leaving the scene of an accident involving death over a technical issue. Kidder’s original sentence on the negligent homicide by motor vehicle while impaired was the judge gave him five years, which was the maximum on the remaining conviction. In short, Kidder was going to serve five years even before the appeals court reversed one of his convictions, and that is what he is going to serve after the re-sentencing hearing last week.

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In the appeal, Kidder contended his enhanced sentence for the leaving the scene of an accident involving death was illegal because he wasn’t charged with an essential element in the count. Essentially, he contended the charging document for that count was missing one key word- knowledge. Kidder contends he lacked knowledge that he caused an accident involving death, therefore, the enhanced sentence for that charge was illegal. The appeals court agreed. Again, the high court affirmed the remaining convictions, so the 10-year sentence for negligent homicide with five years suspended still stands after last week’s hearing.

Around 10:10 p.m. on May 6, 2018, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a bicyclist in the area of Route 589 and Gum Point Road near Ocean Pines. Upon arrival, MSP troopers determined the operator of the bicycle had suffered severe trauma.

The bicyclist, later identified as Jose Eduardo Madrid-Pineda, 38, of Berlin, a Honduran national, was transported to Atlantic General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Kidder fled the scene of the fatal accident. After Kidder was involved in the fatal accident that killed the bicyclist on Route 589 near Gum Point Road, he fled leaving damaged parts to his vehicle at the scene including a broken side view mirror and broken part of the grill. About 10 minutes later, Kidder was involved in a second accident in West Ocean City.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.