New Jersey Man Acquitted of Vehicular Homicide in Fatal Drunk Driving-related ATV Accident

According to news reports, a New Jersey man was found not guilty of homicide while driving drunk on an all-terrain vehicle. The original charges came from a DWI-related ATV accident back in 2009, which allegedly resulted in the death of another individual in Manchester Township.

Based on court records, 22-year-old Mark Renehan was declared not guilty in connection with the drunk driving-related death of his best friend, Jonathon Byram, on July 5, 2009. The charges at that time included homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, drunk driving, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

The young man’s attorney stated that because of the nature of the case, the prosecution should have done a more thorough examination of the circumstances before bringing the case to trial. As it ended up, the lawyer for Renehan said that the acquittal was a “just outcome.” The attorney went on to say that the jury came to the correct conclusion, especially considering that the defendant “lost his best friend” in the accident, making it a difficult trial for both his family and that of the victim’s.

The trial covered the events of that fateful day when Renehan, Byram and a third man were riding in a Kawasaki 750LE Teryx. With Reneham at the controls, the vehicle left the north side of the roadway and rolled over onto the passenger side. The crash fatally injured Byram, who was seated in the passenger seat at the time of the accident.

Responding to a 911 call, State Police had detected an odor of alcohol emanating from him. Renehan said that he and his passengers had been drinking prior to the crash, according to an affidavit.

Renehan cleared in ATV homicide, WayneIndependent.com, September 30, 2010