Man convicted of murder in police-chase death

Driver killed motorcyclist during 2011 police chase down University Ave.

A man who struck and killed a motorcyclist after fleeing East Palo Alto police was convicted of second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter on Wednesday, July 24, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Eric Anthony Banford, 48, of East Palo Alto led police on a high-speed chase on University Avenue when he hit resident Danny Dixon, 50, in a head-on collision on Sept. 28, 2011.

Officers investigating a burglary at 5:15 a.m. had attempted to stop Banford as he walked down the street. Banford jumped into a friend's waiting Land Rover and sped away with two passengers. He drove with his lights off and went through stop signs and red lights at speeds up to 70 miles per hour.

The two Passengers yelled at Banford to stop, but he refused; during the chase he lit a crack pipe, police said. Banford drove east on University Avenue in the oncoming lane. As he approached University Avenue and Bay Road he swerved to avoid an oncoming truck in the fast lane and struck Dixon, who was on his way to work.

The Land Rover continued for 25 yards. Banford jumped out and fled on foot. Police apprehended him at 1640 Bay Road.

The jury took one day and 45 minutes to reach their verdict. They convicted Banford of second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, reckless evading causing serious injury and felony hit and run. He faces 35 years to life. He will return to court for sentencing Nov. 1.

Banford was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1991, which was reduced from a murder charge. In that case, he fatally punched the victim in the head during a drug robbery on March 31, 1991, according to the DA's office.


Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

>> Banford was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1991, which was reduced from a murder charge. In that case, he fatally punched the victim in the head during a drug robbery on March 31, 1991, according to the DA's office.

What the hell is going on in the prison / legal system.
I keep hearing about how the US imprisons the most people of any country in the world, and it makes me wonder why someone like this would be OUT IN PUBLIC ever?

Is this something special or just more of the general all around incompetence and corruption of our society?

Like this comment
Posted by BNs
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

The prison system is too leniant on criminals. So called non violent criminals get released early and then the graduate to violent criminals. It is ridiculous that someone who murders someone and gets 20 years in jail, can get out after 10 years. There should be no early release for anyone. If someone gets sentenced to 20 years, they should serve the full time.

Like this comment
Posted by Mom by Gunn
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 2, 2013 at 1:32 am

It's the DRUGS...$$$$$$..
BIG BUSINESS here, there, and everywhere...
Antibuse is for drinkers~
methadone for heroin~
should all be mandatory for those with abuse problems.
Guarantee the crime statistics would go down.
The parole and probation departments will have to hire more
agents~ and KEEP BETTER contact with the caseloads.
MAYBE someday I won't have to worry about walking down
the streets in Palo Alto without worrying about my safety.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


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: * Not sure?

Comment: *

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

*Required Fields

Should Parents Save for College?
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 12 comments | 2,728 views

Help! I’m Covered in Bugs
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,490 views

Constitution Guarantees Nationwide Right to Same-Sex Marriage
By Chandrama Anderson | 23 comments | 1,204 views

SENIOR FOCUS: It's Never Too Late...To Ask for Help from Your Kids
By Max Greenberg | 2 comments | 1,131 views

Calave wine bar opens in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 1,078 views