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July 13, 2005



Vehicular manslaughter is actually a lesser (i.e., an included) offense within second-degree manslaughter. Man-2 is the highest charge he could face.

A Class C felony is pretty serious, it can mean up to 15 years in prison (or 30 if served consecutively, since he faces two counts).

Given his status as a repeat offender, I seriously doubt he'll escape jail time if convicted. Nor would he likely be offered a plea bargain that did not include some jail time.

Michael Veach

I know Martin Hidgen, I graduated High School with him and I'm telling you there is not a day that will go by that he will not feel bad for what he did. He has to live with this tragedy for the rest of his life behind bars or not. He is a good guy and it was not his intention to kill someone before he went out that night. This is a terrible story and is bad for everyone involved. He got too drunk and boom his life is over, as is 2 other people. Why make it any worse than it is, putting this man behind bars for a long time will not bring Katie back. Might soothe the pain of the parenst a smidget but believe me Marty will Pay for his actions every single day for the rest of his life. What ever happened to forgiveness, what happened. What would Katie want, shes still there you know, what would Katie want.

Blah Blah

hey red guy in a blue state,

We agree on very little but we agree on this. I've covered it extensively on my blog and have argued with the Martin Heidgen defenders both on my blog and in private email. I'm glad you covered this too.
Blue girl in a blue state

Anon on LI

Not to change the subject but your "those charges" link leads to a list of charges that states "abortion" as an offence???? What the fuck country are YOU from?


This is in response to the Michael who went to school w/ Martin Heidgen I understand forgivenss, and feel for Martin Heidgen becuase he will have to live with this for the rest of his life, unfortunately he made a really stupid descison and should be punished. The Flynn family has to live with this for the rest of their lives also ... without their daughter.

Drunk driving needs to end, and i don't care what a nice guy her is or was etc... and example needs to be made and people need to learn from this terrible tradgedy. If he is not put in jail, no one will learn from his horrible mistake!!!

There are consequences to every decision that you make. He needs to pay the consequences... Nice guy or not!


This is such a delicate and sensitive issue to discuss and debate. I befriended Marty when he moved to NY from Arkansas. I worked with him briefly and socialized with him occasionally. What he did, what he's done, goes beyond the realm of atrocious. Marty will be punished for the rest of his life, by the law, by others, and by himself. I knew Marty to be a very good, charitable, religous, and compassionate person, and judging by all the posts I've read on multiple websites from friends who have known him, many people agree with this. In the wake of what has happened, it's impossible for anyone who has never met him to think that. I don't even know what to think about that. But I do know that putting Marty away for life, or overpunishing him within the contents of our current law, will NOT benefit anyone. Marty is the kind of person who can reach people and STOP others from drinking and driving. Marty is the kind of person who will probably devout the rest of his life to find any type of way he can to help put an end to drunk driving. Even if he spends every single day going from school to school and telling his story, Marty is the type of person who would do that. He would relive his own nightmare to stop others from getting behind the wheel drunk. I hope he is punished fairly. And I hope that someday he and the family of the victims can find peace somehow. God knows how... but somehow.

Joyce Rabinowitz

My sons lost their father at the hands of Martin Heidgen. When he chose to go to three SEPARATE PLACES to drink and drive, he chose to commit murder. It is one year tomorrow that he killed my former husband. Forgive?? No, we will not forgive that act of killing two innocent human beings. He should stay in jail for 25 years. Then, and only then will we forgive. Those who say good things about him would not feel that way if their mother, father or loved one was murdered by Martin Heidgen. Support stiff penalties for drunk driving. It is the only deterrent we have.


25 years? I don't think thats enough time.When I got off the plane last year from Dublin reading and reading the story, I can't recall being as angry and the sad part was that, I wasn't angry for your or the flynns loss as I was this guy to pay. I'd prefer they put Marty in a room with you and the katies dad and 2 baseball bats and replay the beating to death of Marty on CNN every 20 minutes.No I can't forgive and I certainly can't drive the medowbrook and think about the accident without being mad.

Truly sorry for your loss~

Arknasas Wisdom Seeker

This is a repetition of a post I made on another blog discussing this same topic:

When I heard about the 2 lives that were lost and the young man responsible for these loses, my heart was broken for ALL those involved in this tragic story. I just recently became aware of this heartbreaking tragedy when speaking to Marty's Aunt who is a member of our Catholic community. Marty has been on our prayer list for several months, but I never knew the specific intention. With his trial fast approaching, Marty, as well as the families involved will be in my prayers.
To better understand the events that took place on that tragic night I went to the internet and came across this "blog" (blogs are a new experience for me). It's very interesting to see a forum in which people can express/vent their feelings while others "listen in undetected".
My understanding is that the family of Katie Flynn professes faith as Catholic Christians as does Marty Heidgen and members of his family. Those of us who profess a belief in Jesus Christ are well aware that "confession" and "forgiveness" are essential elements in our profession of faith. I was very saddened by the comments of those who expressed such hatred for a young man that they do not "know". They know of his irresponsible and selfish choice, and for this, hatred is well understood. But to "hate" your "brother" (for those of you who profess Christianity)is condemmed by God. If my memory serves me correctly I recall a passage where God's word tells us that if we say we love God, yet hate our brother, He calls us liars.
In no way do I mean to insinuate that there should be no anger and extreme emotions toward Marty Heidgen for his choice on that fateful night. Society demands that appropriate (which is defined differently by different people) punishment should be forthcoming. I cannot begin to imagine the spiritual struggle this has brought into the lives of all those involved (those who profess belief in God or a "higher power"). For those who consider themselves their own god, their venemous comments are self-serving.
I want to believe that the hate-filled comments which reflect a desire for revenge have been posted by young people with limited life experience. And, if not, I hope that any adult that would post such comments devoid of any compassion has lived a life free of any wrong doing against another person. Keep in mind that all things are relative. The hurt inflicted on me by another person may not compare in any way to the loss of a child or a husband and father, but I can tell you that pain is pain relative to personal life experience.
To the families of Katie Flynn and Stanley Rabinowitz, my heart cries for you. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a loved one at the hands of another's irresponsible choice. My prayer for you is that you may find peace in the midst of this horrible, tragic, and painful loss. Each of you will require a different time-table, known only by you and God, but I pray that your peace will come.
Marty, you and your family are also in my prayers. Your Aunt spoke of you with much love and sadness over this tragedy. Only you can know the personal hell in which this choice has put you. But, with TRUE REPENTENCE comes TRUE FORGIVENESS from God and, in the end, He is the only one who really matters. When we attempt to seek forgivenss from human beings and they are unable OR unwilling to come to that place we must remember who our Father is and that all others are siblings with human frailties.
May God bless all of those involved in making decisions about the fate of this young man. If there is any beauty that can be found in the midst of this tragedy it is only through God's guidance that it will be found. May the lives of Katie Flynn and Stanley Rabinowitz continue to be honored, not with vindictiveness and hatred but with a true desire to seek God's healing for this deep wound in the lives of all involved.


The Bible also tells you to dust your feet off and walk away from those that do evil. This was pure evil. The wedding was presided over by a religious leader, the bride, groom, family and friends all prayed together. We are believers in God and the 5th commandment states thou shall not kill. So when you quote the bible or refer to forgiveness make sure you have your facts straight. Martin Heidgen killed two people physically that night-he also maimed 5 others physically-and the emotional killing of part of all of us has to be counted as well in the horror of this depraved act he chose to take by drinking and driving. No one forced liquor down his throat. He has done this in the past. Are you expecting us to believe this is only his third time drinking and driving????? I think not-how many other nights was he out there and by the grace of God did not kill anyone else.


Well, to all you Marty fans - how do you justify his latest bit of depravity? Trying to thwart a DNA test ordered by the Judge!!! He's sick & it's about time you all realize it. HE IS NOT THIS GREAT GUY YOU ALL THOUGHT HE WAS!!!! Wake up!


The Bible also addresses good and evil. So where do you think Marty falls now? It sure ain't "good".

Jennifer Jones Novara

All I can say is that I can not read this story without feeling sick to my core for the parents of Katie Flynn, as well as the family of Stanley Rabinowitz. From all I've read, you have lost a wonderful soul in him, and I would like to offer heartfelt condolences.
My daughter is almost 7. When I think of the hell you lived that day - and continue to live - Jennifer and Neil Flynn, I want to die a thousand deaths for you. I feel unspeakable grief and horror just imagining it. My heart and prayers go out to you, and your family, always. I am so sorry for your loss.


There are a lot of people on this and other blogs who are so called friends of Heidgen. The thing I see a lot of is comments like "he will always feel bad about this" and "he is a great guy, he is not a criminal".

Not sufficient.

When a real man makes a mistake he attones. Period.

Pleading not guilty is like saying I do not deserve to be punished. Those who do not deserve to be punished feel they did nothing that deserves punishment.

If you are not a parent you have no idea what this mom went through. Holding her child's head?!

Heidgen's crime is a overly inflated sense of self importance leading to his total disregard of public acclaimations against something we all know is dangerous and a crime. He thinks is he is special and above consideration when he makes a mistake. And when he is presented with the fact that he is a total slime he dodges and tried to get out of responsibilit for his actions.

He is a worm and a cockaroach and below contempt. Jail is too good for him. The he was a total waste, contibuted nothing good at all to society and if we are lucky he never will. Better off he'd never been born.


If Martin Heidgen is sincere about what he has done, he should kill himself.

Michael Williams

A supposed "good guy" who's a drunk driver and kills TWO people should be locked away for DECADES. No freakin' mercy whatsoever. He belongs behind bars for the rest of his life -- that will be a clear message for the rest of his ilk, i.e., drunk drivers who disregard human lives every time they get behind a wheel. Let's make this piece of crap an example.


God Bless Stan and Katie. May they rest in peace. Marty will rot in hell as he deserves this. He is a selfish human who will get what he deserves.

come on

Why were these little kids out at 2am anyway?


I don't know any of the people involved, but the true problem is not this one guy, one night who drank too much and ended up causing the deaths of two other people--it's that we don't seem to find anything wrong with drunk driving UNTIL SOMEONE GETS KILLED. This is sending such a mixed WRONG message to those who drink and drive. I do think the penalty for Marty was absolutely extreme, and I hope it's reduced on appeal. I also hope that our laws will be changed so that drunk driving can be dealt with BEFORE death is involved. To go from a ticket to 25 years in prison for doing the same thing (only not being as lucky) is just crazy.

I feel for the girl's family but am getting nauseated by their hatred and bitterness. Perhaps some counseling is in order. The hatred for Marty and wishing him every ill and a slow death in prison WILL NOT MAKE YOU WHOLE... it will just make a hole where the good in you used to be. And what in the world is a 7 year old doing out at TWO in the morning. Any fool knows that's when it's most dangerous to be on the road because... hello... the bars are closing and drunks driving home.

Anyone professing to be a Christian... please spew your hatred in the privacy of your own home... alone. That is SO not like Christ and is as disgraceful as driving drunk.


To all defenders of Matin Hidgen: You should stop. You should really stop. At least until you've experienced the lost of your father to a careless act of a drunk. Being a catholic or a Christian does NOT qualify you as a defendor of Martin Hidgen. Quote the bible all you want.YOU DO NOT QUALIFY. And SHAME on you for pointing your finger at these victims and thier families only to question their faith because they have not forgiven Martin. If you want to forgive him then you may forgive him but DO NOT defend him. He was wrong. He made a poor choice and now he must hold himself accountable. YOU should hold him accountable too. If he had any honor he would ask for the full punishment for his crime and willingly accept the consequences. So before you decide to chime in and defend this man, before you decide to hold the bible in one hand and point fingers with the other, ask yourself if you have ever cradled the SEVERED HEAD of your seven year old daughter in your own arms. If the answer is "no" then you need to SHUT THE F*** UP!.

Canadian Girl

I have been following this story from the beginning, and it does make me sick about what happend. Everyone knows they should not drive when feeling, or being, drunk. Our laws here are the same...0.08 is legally drunk. But how many times have you or someone you know driven when you really shouldent have?? Now this guy was obviously WAY over the limit, and I am sure he knew better, but 25 years in prision is a little nuts. You guys got it all wrong, and so does Canada's current Prime Minister for that matter, on punishment. Stiffer penelaties DO NOT DETER criminal behavour. Take a look at the rest of the world.. no one else does it like the americans can! And I don't mean that is a good fun loving way either. Give this guy a break, what he did was wrong, he killed two people, he should pay. Over here he would get MAYBE 15 years max. I think that is more than enough time to pay. By the way, did you ever stop to think what he is going to be subjected to in prision? How he will change, how he will be when he gets out? Prision does not rehabilitate people, it just makes them worse. The longer they are in there, the worse it will be in the end. Think about what you are all saying, and put yourself in Marty's position. How would you feel? I can't even begin to imagine how the family and friends of the two victims are being impacted, but I do know that their lives are forever changed. The only way to prevent this problem is through education.
I guess with a country of 300 million, you are bound to get more problems, but blame your government for not overhauling the justice system and dealing with the problems of your country in a more humane manner. Aren't there any civil rights laws there???? I would rather have a guy like Marty was last year living in my neighbourhood, then a guy like Marty in 25 years from now living near me. I think I would be terrified of him in 25 years. He is going to be one hardened criminal. Watch out...look what your "people" have done. Marty is not the only one....many are getting out every day. Imagine how they have changed since they went in...Something to think about.
I know I changed the topic half way through, but sometimes you can't see what is right infront of you...ya know???


First of all, Canadian Girl, shut up. He cut the girls' head off with his pickup truck. "Oops sorry, I've had a few drinks" does not qualify as an excuse. AND who cares what he is subjected to in prison. At least he'd be alive. Ask his parents if they'd rather he have his head knocked of with a pick up truck or have him be in prison. I bet I know what thier answer would be. Ask your parents what thier answer would be? While you're at it, ask them how many years your life is worth? Is 25 yrs too much? Don't answer that becaue you'll only embarrass yourself. FYI - that little girl will never see 25yrs because of Martin. But that doesn't matter to you because you're alive and well prancing around Canada looking up prison stats. Have you ever seen and accident up close? I hadn't until last Friday. A man in a pick up truck ran off the road right in front of me and into a tree at 65 miles an hour. He had to have had a stroke or something because he never hit the brakes. Anyways, I had to call 911 and give them details on the condition of the driver. I had to talk to him until he died right there crushed in his truck. Now this was a true accident. Martin's wasn't. Martin killed a grown man and a 7 year old. He was drunk and drove. If he didn't they might still be alive or they may not have had to die such a horrific death. Your prison stats mean nothing compared to that kind of a death. Do me a favor, look up THIS statistic for me ; Tell me how many DUI ( driving under the influence) recipients are repeat offenders. Martin needs to serve his time.


This is an address to Katie who posted on October 18th...I can't believe that you could be so ignorant as to question the Flynn's for having their daughter out at 2am b/c "that's when the bars close." Are you saying that we all should stay home or else face the consequences of self-induced decapitation? Are you saying this was their fault? Are you saying that if a woman is raped by a drunk assailant at 2am, she is at fault for being out at that hour and that she asked for it? THE FLYNNS WERE NOT THE ONES WHO ARMED THEMSELVES WITH 14 DRINKS AND A PICKUP TRUCK. Martin Heidgen acted with reckless disregard for human life, incuding his own. He knew what could be the result of driving after 14+ drinks, but did it anyway. If I aim a gun at you and pull the trigger and a bullet hits you and you die, I am a murderer, even if it wasn't my intent to kill you. There is no difference between that scenario and what Martin Heidgen did to Katie and Stanley. Once our society accepts that drunk drivers are murderers, people may think twice before driving blind drunk. Even if stiff penalties deter only one would be murderer from driving drunk and taking a life, its worth it. Maybe it will be your life that gets saved...oh, wait...I forgot, you aren't stupid enough to be out at 2am.


my comment is quite long in fact it is an essay that i wrote for college. just a quick note about the writer, i lost two people from a third time offended drunk driver. It is the courts that plea it down in order to bypass court fees when it comes to an offender who wasn't involved in an accident. and it is this lengthy trial system we have that leaves a loop hole for possible repeats. stiffer punishments does not have to mean longer jail sentences. just remeber it is our tax dollars that keep these facilities open and it is the gov't that are letting worst people out earlier who had good behavior and are at their minimum time served all because of over crowding. manditory major rehabilitation is at the expense of the offender.

DWI -Murder vs. Manslaughter

Second-degree murder is described by law as killing with malice aforethought but without deliberation and premeditation (Hypermart). A basic translation would be; a person’s conduct having no intent to kill but does not have concern for the consequences; however, he knows for a fact it may result in the death of another. With that said, why is society looking to convict a drunk driver of murder when it is defined by law that manslaughter is the killing of a person, either expressed or implied, while recklessly ignoring justice(Hypermart)?
In a high profile DWI case Givens titles “Self-Destruction Mode”, Martin Heidgen, a twenty five year old, was “accused of driving drunk the wrong way on the parkway, hitting a limousine” (par. 5) and killing its driver and a seven year old girl inside of the car. According to this article, ten hours after the accident, Martin Heidgen made several statements to police implicating a reason why he drove drunken killing two people, but in actuality he had no clue that he even crashed into a car. His statements, while strapped to a hospital bed, were of being in a self-destruct mode, being very upset and depressed with the argument he had with his girlfriend, feeling distraught and hopeless, and feeling like everything he does is never enough; however, a blood and alcohol test proved that he had fourteen drinks in his system at the time of the crash (Givens, “Jury Speaks” 2) and therefore was still intoxicated at the time of questioning. Alcohol is a depressant and although Martin Heidgen admitted to how he was feeling, alcohol only by passed his judgment and induced his recklessness that tragically killed two people. He couldn’t have purposely set out to kill those people because he had lost control and awareness after having more than four drinks. He is a first time offender who is in desperation to erase his actions for a second chance.
According to the DWI detection guide put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there are identifying factors of a drunk driver, which are divided into four categories
These categories are as follows:
“1) Problems in maintaining lane position: Examples would be an inability of the driver to keep a straight path in his or her lane, straddling two lanes, and swerving for no apparent reason.
2) Speed and breaking problems: Breaking smoothly and maintaining speed becomes a more difficult task for impaired drivers. An example would be accelerating or decelerating quickly for no apparent reason.
3) Vigilance problems: The driver is unable to pay attention. Examples are going the wrong way down a one way street, responding slowly to traffic signals, or the driver stopped in a lane for no apparent reason.
4) Judgment Problems: Alcohol can impair a driver’s judgment of what is safe and what is not. Drunk drivers will often take risks that endanger other peoples’ lives as well as their own; therefore appearing unaware of any problems” (Halvorson, B. Detecting Drunk Drivers).
With the categories stated above, acknowledging that drunk drivers are clearly unaware of the simplest things; I feel that the only sure way to stop drunk drivers from committing multiple offenses is to sentence them to alcoholic therapy programs and community service in support of alcohol awareness. The blood and alcohol level of the offender will determine how long the treatment will last, beginning immediately just as suspending their license on the day of arraignment. This should be imposed on all offenders regardless of the outcome and in the event that they do not comply with the requirements then consequences would be imposed; but certainly do not charge any DWI case with murder. These people are not purposely drinking excessively just to commit murder; they are drinking excessively because they are addicted, they made a bad judgment to drink excessively that night, or they want to relieve themselves from some sort of pain.
In another case of DWI a woman with the blood alcohol level of .28 was arrested after fleeing the scene of a crime to which her actions killed a seventy nine year old man. This wasn’t the first time that she was arrested for drunk driving; it was the third time. The first time was two years ago and in this instance she had her children in the car with her. The second time was this April to which the case is still pending but in the mean time the judge had suspended her license until the case was decided (Aglar, S. “Hamptons Priest”). A person is dead and she is being charged with manslaughter not murder even though this is her third offense of DWI. If Martin Heidgen can be charged with murder because he admitted being in a self-destructive mode then couldn’t her actions be construed as self-destructive on it being her third offense? “Spokesman Robert Ford said murder convictions in drunken-driving cases are rare” and that is because when a person is drunk their intentions are hindered by the lack of control and awareness; as concluded under the identifying factors of a drunk driver.
Extended jail time is not always a solution to the growing problems of DWI cases. It seems that we as a society are content with hearing possibilities of life imprisonment to make up for what we have lost instead of being content with major rehabilitation as well as jail time if needed. No matter what the DWI case is, we should know that actual intent to kill can not be a factor-- recklessness is a more suitable term for their actions. A person who is drunk is not consciously malicious; they are in fact chemically imbalanced by the alcohol that was consumed.
How else can these people be a productive part of society if all we care about is locking them up and throwing away the key? We have got to start thinking about when they do get out of jail or get them when they are first caught without any fatalities and impose awareness on them and use them for preventive awareness for society.

Canadian Girl

In response to edeliz's comment - Exactly. You hit the nail right on.
As to Chris's Oct 24 comment - ummm take a look at what you wrote, you sound very bitter. Maybe you should take a step out of your Conservative box and try being a little more Liberal. American justice is wrong and inconsistent.
I don't "look up prision stats" either, it is just a known fact that America has the most people in prision per capita, and does not treat people, just gets rid of them and throws away the key. Here we close prisions because they are not needed, in America you build more bigger better ones, and thats pretty messed up.
Also Chris, no one can determine what a life is worth, or how many years. Just the fact that you can say that is pretty disturbing. Life is priceless, you can never put a price or time on a life. She could have grown up to discover a new element, become president, or been a normal average person. No one can ever know.

Thanks for reading.

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