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Former Stanford student found guilty in fatal DUI case

Original post made on Nov 18, 2017

A 28-year-old man who drove the wrong way down U.S. Highway 101 in 2013, killing one man and seriously injuring two others, was convicted of felony charges on Friday, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, November 18, 2017, 8:04 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by @PAFreePress
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2017 at 12:33 pm

If I’m not mistaken, you automatically consent to a blood draw when you apply for a California State Drivers license. And based on the fact that he was intoxicated gaving the CHP probable cause. Now, if he was pulled over, probable cause must be established. Field sobriety test. BTW you can refuse this test in the state of california. However, if you sre arrested, and refuse a blood draw, you can lose your license.

Posted by Thumbs Up
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 18, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Thank God he was convicted and not let off on a technicality. Nice job, Wagstaffe. Unfortunately, he faces only up to 12 years, which translates to only a few years for killing someone. And at that, he’ll probably be in a low security prison, basically dorm life for a few easy years.

Posted by D
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Nov 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm

This is a travesty for the Katz family and if you don't know the scientific facts of the case and were not in the court room then don't comment! Yes a life was lost but truth be told people do have severe quite medical issues that can cause problems ! Through the grace of god go I! In actuality what happened to seat belt laws?

Posted by Dave
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 18, 2017 at 11:17 pm

Hey D --

I wasn't in the courtroom, but I don't see any scientific issues with what happened, only legal/procedural issues. I do support holding police to a high legal standard when they gather potential evidence against a suspect, and it's possible this was a case where they overstepped their bounds.

Nonetheless, is there a reason why I shouldn't hold Mr. Katz responsible for the death and serious injuries he caused to others? Legal pleadings aside? You can want him to recover, but his actions have had grave consequences for others, and I see no reason to care more for him than I do for those he hurt.

Posted by What?!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2017 at 1:35 am

How interesting that "D" blames the death on lack of wearing a seat belt. And that Katz should be freed because he has a "medical problem" so the mistake of killing a person should be forgiven. I hope they throw the book at Katz.

Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2017 at 10:17 am

Yes, people do have medical issues while driving sometimes (not often). But being drunk and driving the wrong way is not a medical issue at all. It's a criminal act. A life was not "lost" as someone wrote, a life was criminally ended due to a homicide.It could have been me or you had we been on the road at the time of the accident. I do hope that Katz is not given a pass on his crime just because it's the first the system knows he committed. 12 years would be fine by me.

Posted by Member
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Who is the ridiculous fool saying it’s a “travesty for the Katz family?” Why - because their son is a raging drunk who’s stayed out until 4am driving on the wrong side of the highway? Yes, a life was lost and many lives were disrupted so it’s a travesty for ALL. The Katz family’s only travesty is dealing with the consequences and finding a rehab for their drunk adult child. Grow up!!!

Posted by huh?
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm

I'm perplexed by the huge # of likes for D's sympathetic post for Katz. I suspect these were all made by the same person. Yes, it is unfortunate for the Katz family that their son had his seemingly bright future derailed. OTOH, he made a very poor choice (DUI), which resulted in the tragic loss of another person's life.

Posted by DP
a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2017 at 10:42 am

I hope he gets the maximum sentence. He chose to get into that vehicle after drinking heavily. His blood alcohol content shows that he was way over the legal limit. He made that choice to drive in that condition. He killed an innocent man and injured two others. The jury did the right thing. People need to be held accountable for their actions. Katz still has his life. The poor man that he killed does not. In my opinion, I think DUI laws should be even more strict and the penalties even harsher.

Posted by RB
a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Mr. Katz clearly tried to get off on a technicality and when that didn't work, he tried to claim he had medical issues. He deserves no sympathy or leniency. His lack of remorse and failure to take responsibility for taking a man's life and injuring others only shows the kind of person he is. The jury made the right decision and I hope the judge sentences him to the maximum.

Posted by A
a resident of another community
on Nov 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Yeah no sympathy for Zach Katz. Having known him at Harvard it's clear he feels no remorse for this. Posting a status on Facebook about how he was alive after the accident showed he only cares about himself. Not to mention the obviously fake posts about his grandiose life and how strangers trust him enough to watch their children. [Portion removed.]

Posted by Ryan
a resident of University South
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Listen. The facts are that Mr. Katz was intoxicated and decided to get behind of the wheel of a car, which lead to the death of one individual and two other being injured. For that reason (despite procedural issues, random other medical “issues” and whether the individuals were wearing seat belts), he was found guilty and should be held responsible for his actions. An Ivy League degree, nor crying parents, forgive someone from a criminal act.

Posted by F
a resident of another community
on Dec 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Angry
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2017 at 3:54 pm

To all you "haters" out there, you think you know the facts of this case because you are reading biased articles about Mr. Katz, making him out to be a callous, entitled brat, however, your "facts" are all wrong. Mr. Katz was not only poisoned with Methanol, which was found in his blood in very large amounts several hours after the accident, but he has a seizure disorder which was undiagnosed prior to the accident, as well. No high-ranking doctor is going to put his reputation on the line to testify for the defense just to do it. If all of you people with your "holier than thou" attitudes sat in that courtroom and actually listened to all the facts of the case, you would know that the jury got it wrong. Like most of you making negative comments, it is likely that most of those jurors went into the courtroom with pre-conceived notions about this man and didn't even bother listening to the testimony before deciding their verdict. Those of you who think that he has no remorse for what happened think you know him well, but you don't know him at all. It is very easy to judge looking at it from the perspective of someone who doesn't know all the facts of the case, but you have NO CLUE. [Portion removed.]

I just hope that nothing like this ever happens to you or someone you know and love and you are not judged as unfairly as I believe he was. My friend was driving with an undiagnosed brain tumor and drove across a four-lane roadway after he had a seizure behind the wheel, so, yes, it is very possible to drive with a "medical issue" and not know it. "Behind every person is a story, behind every story is a person. So think before you judge, because judging someone doesn't label who they are, it labels who you are."

Posted by Thumbs Up
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 1, 2017 at 5:18 pm

@"Angry" and "F": Even with a seizure disorder, the fact is that he was DUI, and that is a crime! Harvard? No one cares! Quit waiving it like Harvard alums wear halos. Harvard alums are a dime a dozen in Palo Alto. He is a criminal now for poor judgement. Many blacks get wrongly accused and they are innocent. Katz is NOT innocent, talk until you are blue in the face, but he was driving under the influence with alcohol and is not above the law, even with a Harvard degree. I hope he spends the maximum time in prison so he can think about the fact that he killed someone and injured others.

Posted by F
a resident of Los Altos
on Dec 1, 2017 at 6:51 pm

[Post removed.]

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