Thursday, May 20, 2010

Andrew Bellatti Enters Not Guilty Pleas In Vehicular Manslaughter Case

The Rays 12th round pick in last June's draft, pitcher Andrew Bellatti, entered pleas of not guilty to several charges Tuesday in El Cajon, California. The charges stem from a car crash he was involved in on January 22nd that resulted in the death of a 50 year-old man and injuries to the man's passenger and to Bellatti's passenger.

The case will be handled by the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. Bellatti is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving causing great bodily injury, misdemeanor reckless driving charges from both the accident and another incident a week before, and two traffic infractions for speeding and making a wrong turn. He faces up to seven and a half years in prison if convicted of all charges.

He was taken into custody pending his posting $145,000 bail. The court docket does not indicate if he's made bail at this time. Since he is currently participating in Rays extended spring training in Port Charlotte, the judge ordered Bellatti to sign a waiver of extradition from Florida in order for him to return to camp.

A readiness conference is scheduled for July 23rd and a preliminary hearing for August 5th.


  1. Why would the Rays keep this kid on the roster? He is quilty as the day is long. He has taken lives and ruined many others.

    He deserves to spend the next 7 years in prison to think about what he did.

    His not guilty plea makes me think he isn't man enough to ever pull it together. Man up, admit your guilt and just maybe you will be a man some day. But I doubt it.

  2. There isn't a lawyer in the world that will let you plead guilty at an arraignment, instant malpractice. And quite frankly, most judges won't accept a plea of guilty at arraignment in a felony case.


    For the defense attorney, you usually make your first appearance of record at the arraignment. After that you can request discovery from the prosecution. Only after reviewing these materials and conducting you own investigation can you advise your client as to the proper plea to enter. Failure to do these most basic things is malpractice.

    For the judge, if he allows the defense attorney to commit malpractice, the sentence will be overturned on appeal. Ineffective assistance of counsel is the term, rarely wins, but would if the attorney didn't remotely investigate before making a recommendation.

    As to what should be done, I have no idea what he did or didn't do that day. I'm just telling you what he's charged with having done and the possible consequences, not picking a side.

    As to the Rays, in the past they have disassociated themselves from any troublemakers. Jino Gonzalez, Elijah Dukes, Delmon Young, Josh Hamilton, etc. And none of those involved manslaughter, so you can draw your own conclusions as to what I think they will do in this case.