52-year-old hit and run offender Martin Joel Erzinger will escape felony charges for hitting a biker with his 2010 Mercedes Benz; the fear is that if convicted of a felony the billionaire Morgan Stanley financier would be unable to pay the restitution.
According to District Attorney Mark Hurlbert: ‘Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into it.’
The victim, Dr. Philip Milo, 34, is said to be “facing ‘a lifetime of pain'” from ‘disabling’ spinal headaches. Moreover, Milo’s lawyer, Harold Haddon stated that ‘His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession – liver transplant surgery – has been seriously jeopardised.’
Though Milo himself said in a written statement to the court that ‘Neither [Erzinger’s] financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case,’ the prosecutor argues that money is indeed a top priority. He stated: ‘The money has never been a priority for them [Milo and Erzinger]. It is for us.’
Which, I suppose, is just another way of saying that, at least in contemporary America, if you’ve got the money, the connections, and the privilege for it, you can buy your way to freedom no matter what your felony.