By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
A murder case that centered on a young man allegedly watching a DVD in his truck when he hit an SUV, here, has resulted in acquittal.
According to the AP news service, Erwin Petterson, 29, crossed a double yellow line on a highway and killed two occupants of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The police spotted a DVD player with speakers and a Sony PlayStation2 in Petterson's pick-up truck, which prompted what may have been the first trial of its kind in the country. Prosecutors accused Pettersen of second-degree murder for watching a movie while driving.
Prosecutor June Stein was quoted by the AP as saying the monitor was wired to be “in the open position when the ignition key was turned on.”
According to CEA, Petterson was acquitted of murder by a jury on August 10.
A spokesman for CEA said, “In this particular case, the consumer installed the DVD in his own way. Our position is if you install it based on manufacturer standards, it's very safe. We also advocate common sense. There are a lot of things that cause distraction. You might see a newspaper in the front seat, but you don't put someone on trial for manslaughter. Children in the back, [and] driving while eating are also huge distractions.”
Rick Mathies, director of the Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA) said it is not against the law to have a monitor in the front seat in Alaska and Georgia. MERA advocates similar laws as in other states, where it is illegal for a monitor to display DVDs in the front seat, while the car is in motion.
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