His name is Kambiz Michael Duran. He's currently in the Harris County Jail on a marijuana charge, but when he gets out he's going to get charged in connection with the fatal DWI crash by Nicole Baukus that killed two poeple. Prosecutors allege that he bought Baukus round after round of drinks before she got in her truck...
The president-elect of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association calls that a stretch...
"The criminal defense community we're a little puzzled under what statute they might be thinking is going to apply to him... I also think after this horrible tragedy I think they're really reaching out in this case to find another culpable party." She said.
It was a shocking crime, much of it caught on surveillance tape. Baukus is clearly intoxicated in the bar and then she got on I-45 the wrong way and slammed head-on into another car. TABC investigators say you can see Duran buying the drinks and then giving them to Baukus.
But should he be charged? We put this question out there on Facebook and we got a lot of opinions. Here's what some of you had to say. Jeremy Scoles said "I am a bar manager and bartender.. Not the patron's fault that falls on the bartender to make a judgment call rather she was visibly intoxicated."
Luis Medina agreed. "This is stupid. If they allow this it opens all kinds of doors for wrongful arrests and incarcerations. Legally you wouldn't be able to buy anyone a drink after they have two if this happens."
But Theodore Boyee disagrees. "Yes, his actions show intent akin to rape or slipping a roofie type drug unknowingly.. he was trying to control the person with booze."
Although bartenders can be prosecuted under what's called "Dram Shop Laws" for over serving. Montgomery County Assistant District attorneys say they're not using that law because it's specifically for selling alcohol. They're going after him under what's called the "law of parties." In other words.. DWI is a crime and he provided much of the alcohol for the crime to occur. A stretch? Maybe, maybe not says Harris County ADA Alison Baimbridge who heads up the vehicular crimes division..
"I think you could see a set of facts where this could be possible."
She says she'd need more facts to say for sure.. in the meantime.. Whether the prosecution succeeds or not this case should serve as a cautionary tale about over serving..
"You should always be concerned with the safety of other people in a situation where they could very likely get behind the wheel and cause some tragedy to another family. I think that you should always whether or not criminally or civilly liable in the end that is something you should always be cognizant of.