A Plea for Brendan

On June 28, 2012, twenty year old Brendan Hoffman and his twenty-four year old best friend were involved in a one-car crash. Unfortunately, neither young man was wearing a seatbelt. After the car struck an open culvert pipe, it flipped over and rolled coming to rest on its roof. Brendan survived but his best friend wasn't so lucky, as he was ejected from the car and died instantly from his injuries.

To compound this tragedy, Brendan was ultimately charged with the death of his best friend. On April 4, 2014 a jury convicted Brendan even though there wasn't one single eyewitness who could identify who was driving. Each and every witness who testified at the trial, including each and every member of law enforcement who was called to testify, acknowledged, under oath, that they did not personally know who was driving the car at the time of the crash. A nationally recognized expert on accident reconstruction was called by the defense. For some thirty years this expert previously trained law enforcement officers throughout New York State as well as other states in how to conduct a fair, complete and comprehensive investigation. This expert testified that his evaluation of the facts found that it was the decedent who was actually the driver: not Brendan. Moreover, two police officers (one from a local police department and another with the New York State Police) who are certified as accident reconstructionists would not testify for the prosecution, as their conclusions did not support the prosecution's theory as to who was driving that infamous night. Yet, in spite of all the reasonable doubt raised by the defense, the fact that there were no eyewitnesses, the fact two police officers each certified in accident reconstruction would not testify for the prosecution, coupled with nothing more then conjecture and speculation of what truly occurred that tragic night by the prosecution, the jury still convicted Brendan.

It appears Brendan's jury was only concerned with sending a strong, yet unjustified (in this case) message to other young people on the dangers of driving when alcohol and/or illicit substances (marihuana) are used (which both young men used, yet was purchased and supplied to Brendan as well as two other underage individuals by the decedent that evening).

On April 25, 2014, Brendan was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in State Prison and fined $2,375.00. Today, Brendan, now just 22 years old, sits in tiny jail cell in Rensselaer County, New York awaiting transfer to a maximum security State Prison as a result of a terrible and very tragic car crash. It is certainly bad enough that Brendan will forever be burdened with the knowledge that he will never see his best friend again, but now that burden is exacerbated by the wasted and unproductive time Brendan will now spend in prison for the next number of years.

Tens of thousands of dollars were spent in defending Brendan against the charges. His family are not people of great means and they have scraped together and spent everything they had helping their son, brother, nephew, cousin get an acquittal. An appeal is warranted based on the premise that the jury's verdict was clearly not supported by the testimony and evidence presented at trial. In fact, upon dismissing the jury after the verdict was rendered, the judge immediately dismissed four counts, as the facts, testimony and evidence did not support the elements of those four charges.

Regardless, an innocent (more then just not guilty) young man's life is rotting away in a tiny jail cell. Incarceration will not bring his best friend back to life. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP FREE BRENDAN! Your donations will go to hiring an attorney to bring an appeal. Please, the clock is ticking for Brendan, as an appeal must be made before the statute of limitations prevents an appeal from being brought.

After discussing Brendan's case with a number of attorneys, we firmly believe that an appeal brought on Brendan's behalf will be successful.

Every dollar donated will be gratefully appreciated and will solely be used for covering the costs of the appeal. God Bless and on behalf of Brendan and his entire family, we thank you for your financial support.
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Maryellen Andrews 
Hinsdale, MA
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