BOISE, Idaho — A man who was convicted of vehicular manslaughter after he ran over a child who had been sitting on his front bumper will get a chance to argue that a lifetime suspension of his driver's license is excessive.
Teddy Lynn Edghill was convicted in eastern Idaho's Bear Lake County after the 1997 death of a child who had been riding on the front bumper of Edghill's jeep. He was placed on probation after spending a short time in a prison treatment program, and his driver's license was suspended for life.
Edghill told the Idaho Court of Appeals that he believes a provision barring him from asking to have his license reinstated is illegal. The court agreed that the sentence was illegal in part, and now Edghill's driving privileges will be the subject of a new sentencing hearing in 6th District Court.
According to the ruling handed down Friday, the accident happened when Edghill was driving a jeep with several children riding on the front bumper. One of the children either jumped or fell off, according to the court document, and was run over by the jeep. The child died a short time later from the injuries suffered in the accident, and Edghill ultimately pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter.
The judge sentenced Edghill to six years in prison but then retained jurisdiction, telling Edghill that if he completed the treatment program he would be able to serve the remainder of his sentence on probation. The judge also suspended Edghill's driver's license for life.
During the next few years, Edghill filed motions with the court requesting leniency, arguing that a lifetime driver's license suspension was illegal, and asking for various temporary permits allowing him to drive ATVs for limited periods of time.
The lower court decided that Edghill could petition for reinstatement of his license 10 years after the original judgment.
In 2012, Edghill filed a motion to have his driving privileges reinstated. At that time, the District Court denied his request and also ruled that the provision of the sentence that allowed Edghill to continually petition for driving privileges after 10 years was illegal and struck it from the sentence.
In his petition to the Idaho Court of Appeals, Edghill contended that the changes to his sentence made it harsher than the one originally imposed, and that he should be resentenced by the District Court on the driver's license issue.
The three-judge appellate panel unanimously agreed.