The Thomas Kaylor Court Documents

A few days ago I finally received the Thomas Kaylor court documents. You can view them as you’d like, but I’ve also written up a brief synopsis.

Count I reads as follows:

“The said defendant, THOMAS LEON KAYLOR, on or about the 6th day of November, 1965, at Avenal Cutoff, Avenal Judicial District, County of Kings, State of California, did unlawfully kill, without malice, Gerald Eugene Kline while driving a vehicle and in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, with gross negligence.

Counts II, III and IV are “for a further and separate cause of action, being a different offense of the same class of crimes and offenses as the charge set forth above” with regards to Linda Kline, Robbin Kline and James Hamilton (a passenger in Kaylor’s car).

Count V reads as follows:

“FOR A FURTHER AND SEPARATE CAUSE OF ACTION, BEING A DIFFERENT OFFENSE FROM, BUT CONNECTED IN ITS COMMISSION WITH THE CHARGE SET FORTH ABOVE, the said defendant, at the time and place aforesaid, did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously drive a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and in so driving did an act forbidden by law, which act proximately caused bodily injury to Larry Junior Jones [the second passenger in Kaylor’s car].”

Counts VI and VII are also “for a further and separate cause of action, being a different offense from, but connected in its commission with the charge set forth above” with regards to Jerry Lynn Kline and Paul Kline.

In later documents, dated March 2nd, 1967, it is revealed that:

“On May 9, 1966 Counts II, III, IV, V, VI and VII were dismissed in the interest of justice and Count I was reduced to misdemeanor manslaughter, Viol. Sec. 192.3(b) P. C.”

So, Kaylor plead guilty and was granted probation “on June 20, 1966 for five years with certain terms and conditions.”

In the same documents, we find that Kaylor violated his probation under the following circumstances:

“…it now appearing that this probation has been violated, the matter was duly set this date for hearing the evidence regarding violation of probation and the defendant appeared in person and with counsel A. Hugo Pearson, and after hearing the evidence the court finds that the terms and conditions of probation have been violated to wit: he drove an automobile while his license was suspended and used intoxicating beverages and therefore probation is hereby revoked. The defendant Thomas Leon Kaylor was then asked if he had any legal cause to show why judgement should be pronounced against him to which defendant replied he had none.”

As a result:

“It is therefore ordered, adjudged and decreed that the said Thomas Leon Kaylor be punished by imprisonment in the count jail of the County of Kings in the State of California, for the term of one year.

So for ending the lives of three young, healthy people – while killing a child and orphaning two – Thomas Kaylor sat in county jail for one year. And only after making the same stupid decision twice.

I’m not quite sure I can say justice was served.


About formerkline

My name is Courtney. I'm a copywriter in Philadelphia. I've recently started digging into my family history and trying to find out information about my grandparents. They were killed in 1965 by a drunk driver. This blog will chronicle the search to find out who they were, what they were like and what the world is missing out on now that they're gone.
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