Knupp Justice Quest Requires More Patience

Knupp Justice Quest Requires More Patience

Understandable concerns followed last week’s dismissal of charges against the alleged motorist in a hit-and-run crash that look the life of 14-year-old Gavin Knupp last summer.

As it stands Thursday, there are no official charges in Knupp’s hit-and-run death. Once the case was dismissed due to jurisdictional concerns, the charges in the case were removed. It’s a disturbing fact, but it’s a moment in time. Charges will be refiled. The question is where the charges will be filed, whether district or circuit courts, pending an appellate ruling on whether the visiting judge got it right last week.

The agony portrayed online after the court case was dismissed is understandable. It was a clear setback in the quest for justice, but it’s not the end. The case is going to still be heard in court at some point. Depending on the disposition on the 17 charges, the alleged driver who did not stop after killing Knupp could be sentenced to jail or be given probation.

A word of caution, however, to those fretting over corruption at the court level and worries about the case not getting fair treatment due to perceived financial pressures. We do not see that as reality in the legal system. It’s important to note this case is complicated. It’s not as simple as some may suspect or hope. If the driver thought he hit a deer and therefore did not stop, it’s going to be difficult to prove otherwise through evidence and witnesses.

Expectations may need to be adjusted, as court documents outline the defense’s position of casting reasonable doubt clearly as well as pedestrian error. There is a strong likelihood justice – as defined by the Knupp family and supporters – may not occur even with a conviction.

The charges are simply not severe enough to merit significant time if the case is even successfully prosecuted. It’s a difficult reality to stomach but one that merits preparation.

About The Author: Steven Green

Alternative Text

The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.