Coast Guard driver acquitted of manslaughter

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – The driver of a Coast Guard vessel involved in a fatal collision on San Diego Bay has been acquitted of involuntary manslaughter but has been found guilty of a lesser charge.

After a two-week court martial, a jury found Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Ramos guilty Tuesday of dereliction of duty for failure to conduct a risk assessment.

Ramos was piloting the 33-foot patrol craft during San Diego's annual Christmas Parade in 2009 when it crashed into the boat of Alan DeWeese.

DeWeese's 8-year-old son, Anthony, was killed and five others injured.

Prosecutors said Ramos was driving too fast and failed to follow safety procedures.

Jurors also acquitted Ramos of other charges, including negligent homicide and assault.

The sentencing phase began immediately after the verdict was announced.

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