News


Tri-Valley teen accepts plea deal for fatal crash that killed Dublin bicyclist

Cody M. Hall, of Pleasanton, pleads no contest to vehicular manslaughter, admits injuring second victim in June crash on Foothill Road

A Pleasanton teen has accepted a plea deal in the criminal case stemming from a high-speed crash on Foothill Road that killed a Dublin bicyclist last June.

Cody Matthew Hall pleaded no contest Thursday to felony vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of cyclist Diana Hersevoort. Hall, 19, also admitted a special allegation of causing great bodily injury to Hersevoort's husband, Joe, during the afternoon crash June 9 near Golden Eagle Way.

Authorities allege Hall was speeding at more than 80 mph and trying to pass another vehicle across double-yellow lines before losing control of his car and striking the couple, who were out for a traditional weekend bike ride.

Diana Hersevoort, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene. Joe Hersevoort suffered a broken leg in the crash.

Wearing a yellow jail uniform, Hall was wiping tears from his eyes and rubbing his face as he sat at the defense table waiting for the court proceedings to begin Thursday.

Hall had faced a murder charge for Diana Hersevoort's death, and he was set to complete a preliminary hearing in the case Thursday afternoon, before agreeing to the plea deal.

"This is what you want to do?" Judge Joseph Hurley asked Hall while reviewing the proposed agreement in Alameda County Superior Court in Pleasanton.

The teen defendant answered with, "Yeah."

Members of the Hersevoort family, as well as relatives and supporters of Hall, were in the courtroom Thursday afternoon, and some sobbed as the judge accepted the teen's no contest plea.

The prosecution and defense agreed to a prison sentence of nine years -- the upper term of six years for the manslaughter count and three more years for the injury allegation. The murder count, along with a count of reckless driving causing serious injury, were dismissed as a result of the agreement.

Hall's sentencing is scheduled for May 30, at which time a judge would decide whether to approve the agreed-upon prison term. The case has been forwarded to the Alameda County Probation Department for a pre-sentencing report and recommendation.

Prosecutor Sharon Carney and Hall's attorney, Timothy Rien, each declined to comment following Thursday's proceedings.

Investigators said Hall's 2004 Dodge Neon was traveling at 83 mph, more than twice the posted speed limit of 40 mph, on June 9 when he tried to pass another vehicle using a two-way, left-turn lane. He reportedly lost control while attempting to get back in his lane, causing the sedan to hit both Hersevoorts before striking a pole.

Authorities originally charged Hall with vehicular manslaughter in late July, but the charge was upped to murder on Aug. 14.

The prosecution alleged the teen had a documented history of excessive speeding and boasted about his high-speed drives on social media, including one post in which he reportedly claimed to be driving 140 mph on Interstate 5 and said, "I can't control myself."

Hall's preliminary hearing began on April 2 with several prosecution witnesses testifying. The hearing was then postponed for more than two weeks, and it was scheduled to continue on Thursday afternoon.

The Foothill High graduate remains in custody at the county jail, where he has been housed since being charged with murder in mid-August.

Comments

Posted by GG, a resident of Danville
on Apr 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm

A Plea Deal? Nine years. Well, 6 years for the death and 3 for the injury. Unbelievable. They should at least add that this idiot is not allowed to EVER hold a Driver's License in the State of California. My condolences to the Hersevoort Family for all they have gone through.


Posted by RHW, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 18, 2014 at 6:27 am

Why was he crying? For his victims or himself?

Forget banning him from driving in California - he should never be allowed to drive a vehicle again in ANY State.


Posted by RUkidding, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2014 at 7:34 am

Should have both parents sitting in the cell with him for nine years.


Posted by Tracy, a resident of Alamo
on Apr 18, 2014 at 7:46 am

Where are this boys parents? Kids can do such stupid things, like speeding. They think they are invincible. If he has a history of speeding, why did he have a car to drive in the first place? I know he is 19, but I'm sure he probably lived at home. Parents have a responsibility too. Are they off the hook because their son is over 18? I can't think of any 19 year old that's an "adult". Even if he cried in the courtroom, the above photo of him, to me, makes him look like he is annoyed and trying to be cool. I feel sorry for the victim and his family. I think part of his punishment should be to go to local schools and speak about what he has done. He is young enough to relate to school age kids and it would be a constant reminder of the horrible thing he did. I don't think that "No contest" is good enough. If I was his parent, he would admit his guilt and accept his punishment. He owes that to the victims.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:29 am

Why is he crying? Probably for himself. I didn't see anything in the article about him apologizing to anybody. A good point about where are his parents? They probably both work full-time, bought him a nice fast car so he could be out of their way. Good luck in State prison Cody. I hope you can run as fast as you drive. Lots of big, bad Bubba's will be looking for you.


Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:53 am

It's a tragic story all the way around. No matter what parents do right or wrong? These things CAN and DO occur in society. He sounds like an incredibly disrespectful teen however, so a decade minimally is what I would have expected behind bars...Not on probation/released early for "good" behavior - but a full decade incarcerated. He'll still be PLENTY young when he's released. Of course he can never "repay" the family for the life he took so blatant and carelessly (why even mention that?!) But he can start life again and lead a better one given the tools and hopefully with YEARS to contemplate and reach maturity (yeah, it happens with those imprisoned and very often the young like this do turn out decent citizens in the long run)


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:14 am

What a very sad story all around! His Father has been in and out of jail (one of the first articles stated)and the Mother was not mentioned. Also, no one has mentioned the first responders....they also go through hell when they roll up to an accident that was totally preventable! The families of everyone involved including Police and Fire staff all need time to heal and work through this! Hopefully from this maybe and that is a very loose maybe one teenager will slow down!


Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

Folks...That nine years in prison will feel like a life time..He deserves prison but he will get much more than he could ever expect. The inmates are worse than wild animals. Anyone at the age of 19 is in for a super ugly experience. When and if he gets out he will be the same person that went in...that is for sure..

Just my opinion...thanks for listening, Julia Apadini from Alamo


Posted by Tracy, a resident of Alamo
on Apr 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

I have to say, I'm really bothered by the phrase "No Contest". He didn't have to admit to anything. It's as if he is in denial. The only way he will grow is to admit what he did and thoroughly relive it and admit to himself that he was and is wrong. Otherwise he will just bury his mistake emotionally and continue with his miserable life that awaits him. Originally I thought 9 years was too little, but when he is released at age 28, he will have no job, no education and no one to help him. He will have truly missed out on life. His sentence will never end. Very sad circumstances. It sucks for him that he has crappy parents as his role models for life


Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Prayers for everyone involved in this tragedy.

Prayers for the Hersevoort family as they deal with the loss of Diana Hersevoort, and injury to Joe Hersevoort.

Prayers for the family of Cody Hall, regardless of whether they should have, or even could have, done something/anything to prevent this.

And even though this may not be a popular sentiment, prayers as well for Cody Hall, that he will truly accept responsibility for what he did, and also that he comes out of the prison system a better person, and not a worse person. Not just for his sake, but for the sake of others.


Posted by kathy, a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm

No contest is ...... I do not contest the charges in other words......I am guilty! I did it! Don't worry, he will get a ton of help from the bleeding hearts. He will get out much earlier on good behavior, be given free ride to a UC and will get a great job so the progressives can pat themselves on the back . This is California after all!


Posted by Andrea, a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2014 at 10:39 pm

I believe Cody Hall will be out by the end of 2015. He'll get credit for time served and do about two years total of his sentence. I don't know the law but that's my best guess. I can't see him having the maturity to understand the full impact of what he did for many years. I do believe in redemption and my prayers go out to ALL involved.
I agree with kathy. He will be eligible for many "perks." Including help with an impressive resume based on skills acquired before and during his incarceration.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Andrea, instead of "guessing" about something you acknowledge knowing nothing about, then spewing venom based on your ignorance, you could have spent a coup of minutes with google finding out what is the minimum amount of time that will actually be spent in prison by someone convicted of those charges and sentenced to nine years.

Kathy: what's it like living with all that hate, fear and envy? Do you wake up each morning full of bile or does it build up during the day?

And for the rest of you, "No contest" means the same thing as "guilty" in a criminal case. It is used when there is a monetary damage claim being made in a separate lawsuit, because of collateral consequences unrelated to the criminal case. That's all it signifies.

This is a sad enough story all around without the local hate-mongers using the opportunity to spread their nastiness. Is ignorance really bliss? Based on the seething anger and apparent need to pile on a troubled young man whose remaining life will be very unpleasant, I'd say no.


Posted by kathy, a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Hey Peter, Look up the Fabian Nunez case. Minimums mean nothing in California. There are sentencing guidelines, but , they are just that, guidelines. Do you really think the pillowcase rapist should be allowed to mingle with the general population? Yes, this is very sad all round, but to let someone off that took a life of an innocent human is just wrong.. if he is a decent human being he would not want anything less.


Posted by Buck, a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

@Peter as you inhale the fumes from the commune you live in the Berkley , realize that one day your head may clear and you may yet have compassion for victims of crime.


Posted by GG, a resident of Danville
on Apr 20, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Peter Kluget,

While you seem to have absolutely no problem labeling those who feel this individual, who has a validated history of speeding and documented reckless mentality as "hate mongers", you seem completely void of any compassion for the true victims of this crime, an innocent woman who is now dead and her husband who survived the tragedy created by Cody Hall. Cody Hall received 9 years of incarceration in exchange for a woman's life and injury to another individual. Tell me Mr. Kluget, how much is your life is worth?


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

Apparently some of you folks did't get the memo that says it's not necessary to hate and abuse one person in order to have compassion for another. There's no need to "take sides" here. A woman is dead and nothing will change that. Nine years in prison for conduct which was stupid and reckless - but not intended to harm - doesn't seem unjust to me. A harsher sentence would not bring the dead back to life or help the woman's family.

Revenge is not justice. Those of you who would be first to join the lynch mob should take some time to consider if you have never, ever acted in a reckless way that could have had horrible consequences - got behind the wheel of a car after one too many, drove too fast, cut someone off, misjudged how long that light was going to stay yellow.

Sometimes the consequences of bad decisions are all out of proportion to the actual misconduct. Sometimes nothing bad happens. You sail through the red light. You make it home after the party with no incidents. Other drivers see you and make allowances. That happens every day.

And other times it all goes wrong and someone dies. That doesn't make the conduct blameless when nothing bad happens and evil when someone dies.

Judge the conduct, not the consequences. The fault is the same whether someone dies or no one notices. This young man was a reckless driver. I don't know why that is. I don't know him; I'm not a psychiatrist. Hopefully the severity of the consequences of his actions - to the dead woman and her family as well as to himself - will make him understand something about himself and change. But he did not hurt anyone on purpose; just through stupidity and recklessness, traits which are common among young men. That makes a difference to me.

So, yes, GG, your attitude strikes me as the essence of "hate mongering." You feel the need to hate a young man because his recklessness had horrible consequences. I don't. He will be punished and that is just. But put your noose away. You are probably not entirely free of fault yourself.

Kathy: Nunez' son did 7 years in prison, and only got out that soon because his father was a personal friend of Gov. Schwartzenegger. What in your twisted world view makes you think there is anything in common between the two cases? How many people do you think get that kind of special treatment? Do you have any clue at all about what happens in the real world?


Posted by GG, a resident of Danville
on Apr 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm


Peter Kluget:

Thank you for the rambling diatribe. Now can you answer the original question:
How much is your life worth?


Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

Sad story for all involved...Just FYI, Peter, pleading "no contest" to a felony in a criminal case is admissible in a subsequent civil case. If was a misdemeanor, than could keep "no contest" plea out of subsequent civil case.


Posted by Peter Kluger, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

GG, my life is priceless. Literally.

Unlike some folks, I've never learned to evaluate stuff like that in dollars ans cents.

So I've answered your question, why don't you answer mine: is it necessary to hate the young driver in order to have compassion for the family of the victim? Is your compassion for them judged by how harsh you are towards the young man?

Does it say that somewhere in the New Testament? Because if it does, I must have missed it.


Posted by GG, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Peter Kluger,

Please point out in any of my postings where I stated I "hate" Cody Hall. Your entire statements are based on biased inference and apparently a propensity toward assumption. I was upset with the fact that an individual who has been proven to have exhibited a prior history of reckless behavior to the point of bragging on social media about his "death" rides to friends, is only serving 6 years for killing someone. I referred to Cody Hall as an idiot because his voluntary behavior and actions justifies that label. If you consider calling someone who created this tragedy an idiot, and hoping he never is allowed to drive a vehicle again, hating someone, then for all intents and purposes label me a hater; most would say 6 years for in exchange for someone's life is not priceless.


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville
on Apr 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm

You're right, GG. I simply assumed that because you accused me of having no compassion for the family of the victim, declared it to be "incredible" that the reckless (but unintentional) acts which caused her death were only being punished by a nine year prison sentence and repeated your snotty demand that I tell you how much my life was "worth" that you were lacking in compassion for anyone except the victim.

But I understand better now. It's not hate, it's the failure the extract a sufficient quantity of flesh from the wrongdoer that has your panties in a wad. You think nine years in prison isn't enough punishment for a teenager who was reckless (have you ever been in a prison?) You want "an eye for an eye" - or at least, more than nine years for causing a death, even if unintentionally.

So you tell me, Solomon: how many years in prison are "fair" for being an idiot, if that causes someone's death? And then tell me what is the "fair" punishment for someone who does EXACTLY THE SAME THING but, by the grace of God, doesn't kill anyone?

You, of course, did not volunteer that you personally have never violated any traffic laws or done anything else that, but for the grace of God, could have resulted in someone dying. Maybe you could enlighten us on that one as well?


Posted by Douglas, a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm

It's too bad that with all the monitoring of social media that the state didn't revoke his license and impound his car prior to this tragic incident with him admitting his reckless behavior and that he just couldn't stop. Driving is a privilege, not a right! And GG, most cases are plead out and don't go to trial, but I agree that the plea deal was way too light.


Posted by Hey No Cluegent, a resident of Diablo
on Apr 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

It's not unintentional when you say that you are "out of control" and you want to go on a "death-ride" and you demonstrate those very selfish, arrogant, wanton reckless behaviors and lack of regard for anyone unlucky to be in his path. His parents replaced wrecked cars like they were disposable, and on he went without learning a lesson. He treated Foothill Road like a video game for his amusement. No punishment is enough for his stupidity and lack of concern. Drinking after the accident as if nothing had occurred! That pathetic shell of a human, Cody Hall cried tears of joy at his luck in getting the chance to accept a plea, even though he never deserved a "deal". So don't come here telling us who to hate or how sorry you are, because we don't care about your concerns or meandering spoutings about what others may have done in the past, it's not about us. This is a unique case and it isn't about anyone but Cody Hall and his joke of a family and their dereliction of duty in raising him properly. Which resulted in a preventable death and serious injury of another, not to mention the negative affect and pall that has been cast over the community as a result of his foolish driving. What's it like to live in a state of denial and finger pointing, just ask the Hall family and their tentacles?

Here's to his "honeymoon consummation" and cheers to the prince that carves out Cody Halls eyes before release, if he makes it that is. At least the man won't allow his cheerleaders to vomit forth any malarkey in the cell block! So don't say that you feel sorry when you are incapable and get used to the hatred because it won't ever end for anyone connected to that embarrassing pathetic Hall family! Now go away with your useless gibberish and excuses for this maggot because there aren't any.


Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Peter-Huh?-whatever the bleep his name is spent hours of his life debating me over David Lamont's "opponent", who left Mr. Lamont bleeding & in a coma in a Pleasanton cul-de-sac gutter months ago. And I'm sure that when Pleasanton's police dept announced (after many angry calls to their station) that Lamont's assailant wasn't charged because there was evidence Lamont head-butted the poor lad, well.... that had to mean only one thing - that Peter the incessant know-it-all was right from the very beginning.

It could not possibly have meant that this 18 year old bruised himself, or that he and the other teens in the vehicle got their story together before talking to the cops. Never mind that it was three days later before the police caught up with this kid who knocked Lamont out. Never mind that instead of driving away from the cul-de-sac after causing a disturbance, that bucko-teen had to get out of the car and show his two or three friends what a tough guy he was. Never mind that Lamont's own neighbors have called the police verdict and lack of arrest bull$#!+. None of that matters to Peter Huh, because that poor 18 year old will face the stigma of being the tough guy on campus the rest of his life. And probably a chafed right fist too. Such tragedy!
Peter may be a bible thumper who truly believes in forgiveness, or a former defense attorney, or just someone with way, way too much time on his hands. We'll never know. All I know is that I used to consider myself a far left wing zealot, but Peter makes me look like Bill O'Reilly.
Anyway, to "Hey No" above, well said. Cody's a cute little fellow, and I'm sure his "consummation" will commence shortly, if it hasn't already. Maybe we can have Peter bring him some condolence flowers. And a bit of Preperation-H.....


Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2014 at 7:16 am

I guess it is true: haters gotta hate.


Posted by Cato, a resident of Alamo
on Apr 27, 2014 at 7:00 am

Hey, Clouseau -- are you going to respond to the comments on the recent RC, or must I have all the fun?


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

and my friend here will have the kibble."
By Tom Cushing | 12 comments | 1,203 views

Job growth is driving housing prices
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,074 views

Sentinels of Freedom Newsletter
By Roz Rogoff | 0 comments | 733 views

When those covering the news become the news
By Gina Channell-Allen | 0 comments | 99 views