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Judge Rules on Definition of Fallen Delaware Responder

m-smith-del

JEMS.com Editor Note: Due to the use of the term "ambulance driver" in the copyrighted news article, JEMS contacted the Delaware City Fire Company for Michelle Smith's official title. At the time of the incident, Ms. Smith was listed as "Firefighter/Emergency Medical Responder." She was enrolled in a EMT-B class at the time of the incident.

WILMINGTON -- A Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that ambulance driver Michelle Smith was a "firefighter" under state law when she was killed in the line of duty Dec. 20, 2008, while tending to an injured man on the median of U.S. 13.

The ruling by Judge Jerome O. Herlihy seems to clear the way for a possible conviction of 29-year-old Joseph Taye, a paraplegic, on first-degree murder charges that would send him to prison for life for running into Smith with his car.

Taye this month opted for a bench trial instead of a jury trial, so Herlihy also will be deciding Taye's guilt.

Read More, Slain medic ruled 'firefighter' under state law

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