Brad Lindsey and his mother Monica
The heartbroken families and friends of two young men in a car accident Feb. 28 are reeling with what they see as an unfair turn of events.
On March 1, Gresham police arrested Brad L. Lindsey Jr., 21, who is charged with manslaughter, felony hit and run and DUII in the death of his best friend, Jamell P. Taylor, 22.
Taylor was the passenger in a van driven by Lindsey, who crashed it into a light pole at 172nd and Glisan streets early in the morning of Sunday, Feb. 28.
The two had been drinking alcohol-fortified energy drinks earlier that night, Lindsey's family members say. After the van crashed, Lindsey called for help from bystanders, but then left the scene on foot, turning himself in the next day.
Police took him to the hospital for treatment before transporting him to the jail, where he remains on $250,000 bail.
Family and friends of both men filled the courtroom March 2 when Lindsey was arraigned on the charges, calling out their support for Lindsey and stressing to television reporters that they want all charges dropped.
"He's suffering enough," Taylor's sister Brandy told a reporter. "He has to carry that guilt for the rest of his life and Jamell wouldn't want that."
Lindsey's mother Monica told the Skanner News that Lindsey was only in Portland temporarily because he was recuperating from a football injury and wanted to be near his toddler son. He planned to return back to college at Central Washington University at the end of March.
"He wanted to finish school and if football didn't work out, he wanted to go into the military so he would have benefits for his son," she said.
"Jamell's family loved Brad, Brad's family loved Jamell, but they are trying to put Brad away like a murderer," his uncle LeRoy Stanton says.
Lindsey faces Measure 11 charges with a mandatory minimum sentence of six years.
The Lindsey, Taylor and Greenidge families have opened a bank account to raise funds to pay for an attorney. At Wells Fargo Bank, contributions can be made to the Brad Lindsey Donation Account.
Friends have also set up an account to support the young family of Taylor, a newlywed with three stepchildren. That account, at Bank of America, is called the Jamell Taylor Memorial Fund.
Taylor, who had worked as a bookkeeper at BusinessWeek, attended Mt. Hood Community College where he hoped to graduate this year with degrees in business and sports medicine, according to his Facebook page.
Family friend Michelle Wambold, whose daughter was close to the two men, has posted a Youtube tribute to Taylor.
"All I want to do is help out the family," she says. "I see how some of the news portrayed Jamell and some of the comments people left on their websites about him.
"This was a very good kid, not into gangs, or trouble... he was loved by so many," she said.
Taylor's Facebook page has hundreds of tributes, many of which express grief over his death as well as the charges against Lindsey.
"i just want you to know that your life was a beautifull well lived life and that i feel like you should always be remembered," one says. "i am quite confident that you will be thought about often."