The California physician, convicted of assaulting a pair of cyclists with his car, was sentenced to five years in prison at the close of a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court this morning, Friday 8th January, 2010.
Sixty-year-old Christopher Thomas Thompson, found guilty of six felonies and a misdemeanor, has been in custody since his conviction in November.
Prosecutors had asked that Thompson be sentenced to eight years for crimes mostly relating to a July 4, 2008 incident in which he severly injured two cyclists when he abruptly stopped his car in front of the riders descending Mandeville Canyon road, near Los Angeles.
He told the first police officer on the scene that he intentionally hit his brakes in order to “teach them a lesson.”
Thompson was also convicted of misdemeanor charges relating to a similar incident that occurred months earlier, but did not result in injuries.
Thompson took the stand Friday and accepted full responsibility for his actions, expressed remorse and apologized to Peterson, Patrick Watson and Josh Crosby, who were in attendance on Friday.
“I would like to apologize deeply, profoundly from the bottom of my heart,” he told the three cyclists.
The jury found that Thompson’s actions were criminal and convicted him of assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving causing specified bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury and mayhem.
Thompson’s troubles will probably not end with his Friday sentencing. His medical license was suspended last month, and a permanent revocation is probable, pending a hearing by the state’s medical licensing board.
Although now reportedly near bankrupt, the founder of a successful medical records technology company, Thompson still faces likely civil action from the victims in the case.
I stated in my previous post on this incident:
Thompson told police, “I just wanted to teach them a lesson.” I think more than anything, the doctor has taught himself a lesson, one that I hope other drivers will get.
Deliberate dangerous moves like cutting cyclists off or slamming on brakes in front of them, have serious consequences.
The full story in Velo-News whose reporter Patrick Brady was in court for both the trail and the sentencing