Baroness Bus Crash Driver May Not Face Charges After All; Band Announces Summer Tour with Royal Thunder
Back in February we learned that Norman Markus, the driver who was behind the wheel during Baroness’ horrific bus crash in August of 2012, was going to be charged with a a number of offenses by the British court, including dangerous driving, using a vehicle with defective breaks, not having the proper license to drive this particular type of vehicle, and insufficient daily and weekly rest periods in-between bouts of driving.
Funny thing about charging someone with a crime or crimes, though: they kinda have to be in the country where they’re being charged for anything to actually happen.
And so it would seem that Markus — a German national — may not ever have to face these charges after all… so long as he never sets foot in England again. The BBC reports:
“[Markus’ barrister Jonathan Turner] told magistrates that if Mr Markus chose not to attend court ‘nothing can be done’ because the summons was not served in the UK.
“‘If he ever re-enters the country a summons can be served upon him,’ he added.
“‘Our position is the summons is a nullity and he has no reason to attend.’
“Mr Turner added: ‘You can’t issue a warrant for his arrest unless he re-enters the UK and a summons is served on him.
“‘The problem is he’s not going to come to this court. How are you going to get him here? I say I’m afraid you can’t.’
“Prosecuting solicitor Lesley Ness asked for the case to be put back for inquiries to be made ‘as to whether the summons was served or not served’.”
In other words, Markus is doing exactly what Randy Blythe didn’t do earlier this year: he’s refusing to show up in the country where he’s being charged, thus making any form of prosecution impossible. Anyone who’s ever seen an action movie knows there’s such a thing as extradition, whereby a criminal can be detained and deported back to the country in which he is wanted, but a) I have no idea if Germany has an extradition treaty with the UK or not, and b) I can’t imagine a bus driver who may or may not be responsible for a (luckily!) non-fatal accident would be very high on German authorities’ list of priorities (excuse the rhyme) even if they did.
Assuming that Markus is actually guilty of the crimes with which he is being charged, the fact that he may never face punishment obviously really sucks. On the other hand, speaking as a pussy who highly values his anus’ current lack of elasticity and thus has no desire to ever spend any time in prison, I know I’d probably do the same thing if I was in his shoes — hell, I was always shocked that Randy Blythe returned to the Czech Republic to stand trial.
So, uhhh… yeah. Like I said, it’s still a marvelous stroke of luck that no one was killed in this crash, and Baroness seem poised to make a comeback — even if it is with a new line-up: they’ve just announced a summer tour with Relapse label mates Royal Thunder, which is going to be unfuckingmissable. My point being, Markus may be a prick, but he’s still not the biggest prick on the face of the planet.
Here are dates for the Baroness/Royal Thunder tour, via The PRP:
08/05 Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar
08/07 Rochester, NY – The Club @ Water Street
08/09 Toronto, ON – Mod Club
08/11 Boston, MA – Royale
08/13 Providence, RI – The Met
08/14 New York, NY – Irving Plaza
08/17 Champaign, IL – The Highdive
08/18 Columbia, MO – Mojo’s
08/20 Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
08/21 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
08/23 Phoenix, AZ – Club Red
08/24 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
08/27 Tucson, AZ – The Rock
08/28 Las Vegas, NV – Backstage Bar
08/30 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
09/04 Vancouver, BC – Venue
Thanks: Saul Hudson