Saturday, September 06, 2014

Deputy who killed former Napster COO after drifting into the bike lane while distracted by his laptop will NOT face charges because he was answering a work-related email

California prosecutors have declined to file charges against a sheriff's deputy who struck and killed a prominent entertainment attorney and former Napster executive with his patrol car last year.

Deputy Andrew Wood was apparently distracted by his mobile digital computer when his patrol car drifted into the bike lane, running over cyclist Milton Olin Jr.

Olin, a 65-year-old attorney and former chief operating officer of the online file-sharing service Napster, was riding in Calabasas in December when he was hit.

Prosecutors said in a letter released Wednesday and cited by Los Angeles Daily News that because Wood was acting within the course of his duties when typing into his computer, criminal charges are not warranted.

Under the law, law enforcement officials are allowed to use electronic wireless devices while carrying out their duties.

The victim’s family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff's Department and accused Wood of negligence.

Olin’s loved ones also started an online petition on demanding that charges be brought against the deputy. So far, more than 67,000 people have signed.

Milton Olin, a married father of two, was riding his bike in the 22400 block of Mulholland Highway at around 1pm on December 8, 2013, when Deputy Wood's patrol car slammed into him.

Olin was pronounced dead at the scene and the deputy was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Wood was returning from a fire call at Calabasas High School and was on patrol when the accident occurred.

‘He was responding to a deputy who was inquiring whether the fire investigation had been completed,’ the letter from the prosecutor’s office stated. ‘Since Wood was acting within the course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response, under Vehicle Code section 23123.5, he acted lawfully.

‘Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking Olin.’

Olin, from Woodland Hills, had been a lawyer for 38 years and practiced business, labor and employment and intellectual property law from a firm he co-founded, Altschul & Olin LLC in Encino.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he was the COO of Napster between 2000 and 2002. Napster was a file sharing site for music before becoming an online music store.

Before his job with Napster, he worked for A&M Records as vice president of business development and was responsible for signing artists and acquiring music rights.

Olin is survived by his wife, Louise, and his two sons, Chris and Geoff. The family lived in a $1million home in Woodland Hills.

Original report here



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