The nephew of model Tyson Beckford was found guilty of manslaughter and other charges Friday in the death of an MTA bus driver in which he was drunkenly driving a stolen truck.
If you haven’t heard of Tyson Beckford (who has?), he’s famous for being handsome in a black thug way, which apparently gets hybristophiliac women to unlimber their charge cards and buy overpriced clothing. It’s a talent the market values highly.
Domonic Whilby, 24, was found not guilty by the Manhattan jury of the top charge of murder in the death of driver William Pena, who was killed on February 12, 2014.
Remember, Whilby is not a celebrity, but he’s a celebrity’s relative, which is celeb-by-proxy. In NYC, that means the laws that don’t apply to celebrities don’t apply to you, either. You get the Celeb Discount on all your crimes.
His lawyer used the interesting theory that he was so drunk he’d drunk the knowledge of right and wrong clean out of his sloping skull, and the star-struck (by proxy!) jury bought it.
Whilby drunkenly plowed a stolen truck into Pena’s bus on 14th Street after getting tossed from celeb haunt 1OAK after a night of partying with Beckford.
This article understates just how drunk Whilby was. Another article describes his condition:
Beckford, with Whilby in tow, walks right into the Chelsea hotspot past a line of people waiting to get in.
In a clip from inside the trendy establishment, Whilby is seen hugging up on a woman who seems annoyed and uninterested.
She resists his kisses and turns her head away from him as he stubbornly persists. When she eventually pushes him away, a visibly drunk Whilby backpedals into a table and knocks glasses over.
A scuffle ensues and Whilby is hauled out of the popular celebrity hangout on W. 17th St.
Whilby spent the next couple of hours loitering in the area, wandering into hotels and an apartment building, trial evidence has shown.
At one point, he tried to get into a cab that was waiting for someone else. In another instance, he passed out on a floor in the Dream Downtown hotel.
Whilby’s defense is that he was too drunk to know what he was doing.
An even earlier story has him arguing belligerently with cops after the accident: “Get out of my face.”
“He woke up, looked around and said, ‘Kill me. Shoot me. Get out of my face,’ repeatedly,” [Officer Suzanne] Kelly testified.
And the earliest one described the accident:
Pena was driving eastbound before the collision, which left another four people injured.
The two vehicles finally crunched to a stop at the intersection’s southeast corner after smashing into several parked cars, a yellow cab, a person on a scooter, sidewalk scaffolding and a subway entrance, witnesses and police said.
The scooter driver was dragged for about 50 feet but survived.
“He didn’t even brake,” said Eddie Abdelmoty, 51, of Long Island City. “My tires blew up … He went right through the red light at the end of the block.”
All of the other victims suffered non-fatal injuries as the double-length bus and box truck cut a path of devastation onto the sidewalk.
“I thought it was an earthquake,” said Michael Edwards, 34, who works security near the wreck site. “By the time I got outside police were already here..”
Whilby, the driver of the stolen 18 Rabbits Granola truck, suffered minor neck injuries in the crash, police said. He was taken into custody at the scene and later slapped with a whopping ten charges including manslaughter, two counts of grand larceny, three counts of criminal assault, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass, police said.
Back to the most recent article.
Prosecutors say he left the club wasted and hopped into a commercial truck at about 5:20 a.m.
Just to make it clear, after all the above he “hopped into” a truck that was idling at a loading dock, and took it for a joyride. He was certainly too drunk to drive, but not too drunk to steal — indicating it’s a skill closer to the core of his character.
Peña was killed instantly, and the plastered, loose and rubbery Whilby wasn’t seriously injured. His lawyers managed to stall the case for over three years, and rejected plea bargains, trusting star power to get their killer off. He was convicted of lesser charges that have the potential to jail him for 25 years, but no one expects a star-struck judge to give him more than a slap on the wrist.
Why did the club keep serving a guy so drunk he was falling down? Celebrity, natch. It’s a place celebs go to to be free of the constraints of law and society, and the management obliges. That’s why they have insurance.
Whilby sped through traffic lights and struck several parked cars before smashing into William Pena’s crosstown bus on W. 14th St.
William Peña lived in New Jersey with his wife and teenage daughter, but nobody in NYFC cares about them. They’re not celebrities, nor even by proxy.