DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Delaware judge has rejected an appeal by a paraplegic man sentenced to life in prison for the death of a Delaware firefighter struck by his car while she tended to an injured man.
The New Castle County judge on Wednesday rejected Joseph Taye Jr.'s claims that his trial lawyers were ineffective. The judge concluded that Taye knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to a jury trial and to testify on his own behalf.
According to court records, Taye was using a stick to operate the pedals of his car when he sideswiped a police car at the scene of a motorcycle accident before striking firefighter Michelle Smith and the injured motorcyclist.
Taye received a mandatory life sentence for the death of a firefighter in the line of the duty.