Lawyer Sentenced in Vehicular Manslaughter

Robert Wyatt pleads no contest to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in crash that killed Edward Phillips in Rossmoor in December 2010.

Patch had a couple of inquiries from readers and has confirmed a plea bargain and sentence for lawyer Robert Wyatt, who was the driver of a car that struck and killed Edward Phillips, 85, of Rossmoor on Dec. 10, 2010.

Wyatt, 71, of Rossmoor, pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, a felony, said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Caron. Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Clare Maier on April 30 sentenced Wyatt to three years of felony formal probation, including 90 days of jail, Caron said.  Wyatt was ordered to pay victim restitution to Phillips' family. The judge also ordered him to abstain from alcohol during the term of the probation, and revoked his driver's license for a year, Caron said.

According to testimony in a September 2011 preliminary hearing, Phillips was blind in one eye and walked with a cane, but had to be scolded by family members at times to use the cane more often.
At 6:35 p.m. Dec. 10, 2010, in the darkness, Phillips may have been hurrying across the street to catch a Rossmoor bus to downtown Walnut Creek, where he was fond of dining at PF Chang's.

After the collision, at the Walnut Creek police station, Wyatt's blood was drawn and a blood alcohol level of 0.18 was recorded, according to testimony. Wyatt told Walnut Creek police that night that his Bentley was traveling about 25 mph, according to testimony.

Walnut Creek Police Officer Kris Harman testified about interviewing Wyatt that night. Wyatt told him it was dark and he saw a man moving in "a little jog" coming from the left curb and that he didn't have time to apply the brakes, Harman testified. There were no skid marks, Harman said.

Debbie Loftin Rafert May 22, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Are you kidding? That is all he got for murdering a pedestrian while intoxicated? How is it that because he has money he can get away with MURDER!!!!! My heart goes out to the loss of the Phillips family, feel that restitution for his death is not punishment enough for MURDER!!!!!
SAult May 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Since when is it a crime to walk out to catch a bus? To have a blind eye, carry a cane and in fact live in a retirement community where that might be the norm? Can we focus on the .18 blood alcohol and the fact that his impairment may have caused him the inability to function when it was dire? How about lay off the family and what money they may or may not have received? What do we do in this country but throw money at a situation; life, injury, death? Lucky for Mr Wyatt that he has a ton of it so he can avoid what the rest of us regular people would have to suffer through as a result of our really bad choices. But in the still of the night when no one is around to tell him it wasn't really his fault he will have to relive what has happened and the fact that he left that poor man on the ground by himself to die. Money can't buy peace in your conscience or your soul.


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