Defense Calls For Mistrial In Mt. Lebanon Fatal Pedestrian Accident Case

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The defense called for a mistrial in the case of a man accused of hitting and killing a mother as she was pushing her two young children in a stroller in Mt. Lebanon.

On Wednesday, an officer testified that as he was explaining the severity of the injuries sustained by Lisa Styles, Benjamin Cope said, “My future is screwed.”

At that point, the defense asked for a mistrial stating that they were not prepared for testimony of that severity.

Judge Anthony Mariani denied the motion and said no information was deliberately withheld from the defense.

Styles’ two kids were in the courtroom on Wednesday. Their appearance was so the officer could identify the other two victims in the accident.

On June 28, 2010, Styles was out jogging with her two children in a stroller on Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon. Prosecutors claim Cope ran a stop sign at the intersection of Washington and Beadling Roads and hit Styles.

Cope was allegedly smoking marijuana the night before the accident.

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  • Critter

    Funny. That info was out the day after the accident. Must be a stupid attorney

  • Joke

    A 20 year old driving around in the middle of the afternoon still reeking of marijuana from the night before, ya, his future was real bright anyway!

  • mesa

    Show’s how totally self-centered and entitled this young man is. Hearing of the injuries his negligence — regardless of whether from being high or being distracted or not being a diligent driver — caused, his first thought is how this will affect HIM and HIS future. What a joke.

    • Dopey

      At least he got rid of that dikbag California hairdo

  • Bob

    I feel sorry for the family and their loss ( no child should have to grow up mother ess), but i do not like the fact that marijuana was brought up in this case… what was the drivers THC ng/ml ? he smoked the night before and marijuana only has a psychoactive period for 3-4 hours..basically he was a young kid driving dumb and it turned into a horrible accident…not because he was high on Pot..he should only be convicted of vehicular manslaughter minus any drug referance. Its just bad media and more marijuana propaganda… I know its a illegal substance , but If pot stays in your system on a avg. of 30 days and the DUID law in Pa for marijuana is 1 ng/ml of blood this means anyone can be convicted for DUID after 30 days of smoking it…( even second hand can cause levels at 1ng/ml or more)…. marijuana it should be used medicinally and move to at least sch 2-3 of controlled substances act so further research can be done to really look at its effect…. marijuana being sch 1 make this almost impossible…

  • Daniel

    If you would have read the other news stories, you would have seen that this kid was inconsolable after the accident. He is a college student – you show me a college student who doesn’t drink and smoke pot. And if they say they don’t – they are lying.

    • CT

      I have never smoked pot in my life, and none of my college friends did either. Not every college student is solely interested in partying and acting like a fool. Just because that’s your experience doesn’t mean that people who live differently are liars.

      • Tommy Boy

        Yeah, ok.

    • Joke

      I have never smoked pot or done any other ILLEGAL drug in my life. 36 years strong!

    • mary

      It doesn’t even matter if he smoked or drank, when you get a drivers license you are taking on the responsibility of following traffic laws which are set for the reason of keeping people safe. I hope he was on drugs so he at least has an excuse for running a stop sign and killing someone. Listen to the testimony of the kid that was riding with him. He actually looked into the eyes of the victim, he said his friend never even looked right. He has 6 other traffic citations. He shouldn’t have had a license to begin with. This is the fault of so many people, the judges that let him keep his license, his parents for not paying him enough attention to see he is headed down a bad road and obviously the kids fault for not paying attention while driving.

      • Daniel

        Ok – he ran a stop sign. I can’t count the amount of times that people have run stop signs and almost hit me. It’s almost a daily occurrence. People run them all of the time, drunk, high or otherwise – they run them. People tend to drift through stop signs, look left and run out into the road, just like this kid did. Additionally, there was a crosswalk, so perhaps the person who was jogging thought she had the right of way and went into the crosswalk. She was training for a marathon, so she may not have stopped. There are a lot of ‘for instances’ here.

  • Joke

    Chronic marijuana can stay in your system for 30 days but if you get pulled over for running a stop sign or broken tail light are you going to be tested for marijuana? Probably not. To my knowledge, no expert will testify that marijuana smell stays on your clothes or in your car for 30 days, therefore he was probably under the influence of it when he hit this poor defenseless mother. Hence, why it is being brought into this case.

    • Up in Smoke

      How many High Drivers crash into houses, ditches or other cars? No where near the number of drunks, who wake up and don’t know how they got home

  • steve


    • Tommy Boy

      So you’re saying that you have never done anything you haven’t regretted?

    • you're right what a shame

      Steve your right they are missing the point, they leave posts justifying drug use,
      You see Benny boy will get a chance to change for he will not do serious jail time, while the husband and children will do serious time suffering.
      Oh by the way those posters that want to justify drug use like Bob the pot expert
      just remember your judgement and comments are IMPAIRED BECAUSE ,YOUR HIGH, and you sound like some drunken fool rambling on BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

  • Hotel

    Fruit for thought.. if the sidewalks were not reconfigured for the handicapped,the woman never would have crossed without breaking stride.

    • Uniblab

      Good point about the ADA curb cuts Hotel!

  • Benjamin

    In looking at most of these comments, people are speaking with their emotions. Put emotions aside and look at the facts. A kid ran a stop sign, and as a result hit a jogger. A woman is jogging with her kids and runs into the crosswalk. The kid smoked pot the night before – would have no bearing on the accident. So, what this amounts to is an unfortunate situation that is no different than any other fataility involving a pedestrian and a vehicle. It is extremely sad that these children lost their mother. It is also sad that this young man will have to live with his demons for the rest of his life knowing he took someone’s life. There was no malicious intent in this situation to warrant what some people have said. it was an accident just like any other accident where someone unfortunately dies.

    • missy

      Very well put Skippy.

    • Jim

      He failed the sobriety test and toxicology reports indicated that he smoked that day, between 8am and noon. The accident was at noon.

      • Seeking balance

        Did I read he ran over her and then backed up over her again?? Sorry, but this kid needs to never drive again.

      • Kayla

        If you read what was said at the trial about ‘failing the sobriety test’ you will have to agree that they are stretching for something. The person administering it said that he walked 18 steps in a straight line, during which time only 1 time did he faulter less than 1″ from the line. Also, while he was standing on one foot, he swayed after several seconds. Well, pardon me, but I couldn’t stand on one leg drunk or sober without swaying. Not being able to stand or walking over the white line continually constitutes being under the inflluence. Because this occurred in Mt. Lebanon, they are trying to create something that doesn’t exist because of the nature of the accident and end results. If this would have happened in a less affluent neighborhood, it wouldn’t have even reached the court of law.

  • Honestly people

    @ Kayla…..are you kidding me?!?! “Because this occurred in Mt. Lebanon, they are trying to create something that doesn’t exist because of the nature of the accident and end results. If this would have happened in a less affluent neighborhood, it wouldn’t have even reached the court of law.” Do you really believe that? I hope to God that if you are involved in “an accident’ that you live in Mt. Lebanon so that you family can have some closure and justice. God forbid you live in Wilkinsburg and your children have to see you murdered…they will just sweep it under the rug!

  • Kayla

    This young woman was not murdered – she was killed when someone drove through a stop sign, who did not see her. Not sure what your definition of murder is, but involuntarily hitting someone with a vehicle is not the same as murdering someone. And what I was referring to, Honestly people, is the fact that they are trying to say this kid did not pass the sobriety test when indeed his attorney proved that he did. BTW – vehiclular accidents happen every day where someone is killed and it isn’t broadcast all over the nation.

  • missy

    do any of you seriously think we would be having this conversation if the people involved were a young African American mother and the driver was also African American?

    • Harry

      @ Missy….chances are they would be driving without a driver’s license and car insurance, so it would be a whole different conversation.

  • Manny

    Let’s bring the electric chair back.

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