Zombies Are Apparently Not A Sufficient Defense

Surprisingly, it turns out that zombies may not be a sufficient legal defense to committing a crime. At least, it turns out to not apparently be a very good defense to use when accused of auto theft and causing multiple accidents. At least we know this now.

However, this news comes a bit too late for poor Jerimiah Hartline. Apparently, he stole a big rig truck that had been left running at a weigh station after having stowed away inside. Hartline reportedly caused several accidents in his run before tipping the semi over and spilling its load (strawberries). His defense? He was fleeing zombies.

Astoundingly, this defense apparently didn’t work. He has pled guilty to multiple felonies and could receive five years for reportedly assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run causing death or injury, and vehicle theft. For some reason, no mention is made in the article regarding whether or not Hartline was intoxicated or crazy. I would have imagined that such would have come up.

Regardless, keep this in mind. I’m guessing the defense of fleeing the undead will not take a significant place in U.S. criminal law anytime soon. In any event, if you were going to try to be the one to change this, you might want to be sure that someone other than you thinks that there are zombies who need to be fled.

About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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2 Responses to Zombies Are Apparently Not A Sufficient Defense

  1. Glenna Petty says:

    When I am not CrimeDawg, I make my living as a criminal defense lawyer. I am not sure it is any crime at all to steal a truck to flee zombies, even where several accidents ensue. Flesh eating zombies are really, really bad news. If more people fled their approach vigorously, it would be a much better world.

    • This situation would seem to suggest otherwise. The defense was obviously not tried in court, so we obviously don’t have a decision to that effect (regardless of whether or not it would be precedential and even then it would obviously only be in that jurisdiction), but the fact that he ended up pleading out suggests that the DA wasn’t biting at the defense.

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