Kudos to Star reporter Mark Morris for his reporting on the Brian Euston trial…
From the get-go coverage of this case was canted towards the deserved sympathy for Euston’s grieving family. It wasn’t their fault their son had been recklessly drunk and obnoxious at the exact wrong time in the exact wrong place. Having consumed nearly five times the legal limit of booze to drive, Euston had managed to navigate himself into harm’s way where he got in Stanford Griswold and his girlfriend’s faces resulting in him getting a punch to the mouth.
However instead of a fat lip and a hangover – as Griswold’s lawyer said in the trial – because of Euston’s being "massively intoxicated" (as Morris describes him), he fell backward, hit his head on the curb and later died.
Very sad, but let’s get back to Griswold…
There’s little doubt that because of TV news coverage, sympathy for the family and that Griswold was black and Euston white, the court of public opinion was stacked against Griswold. It didn’t help that he had an assault conviction, but heck, so does Star editor Mike Fannin.
Now let’s cut to the chase…
Sources say Euston’s family was well aware of their son’s drinking problem. How could they not be? Further Westport insiders say it was known that when Euston got hammered that "he got obnoxious" and was not the "happy drunk" prosecutor portrayed him as.
Even the photos posted of Euston on the Facebook tribute page assembled by his friends after his death spoke to that. Some readers were critical of me for using those photos, which showed Euston in full party mode in pic after pic.
And because of the sympathy for Euston’s family Westport had to put up with a waterlogged, weather beaten, makeshift memorial for five long months. Then take a PR hit from the family after vandals finally tore it down.
Look, justice has undoubtedly been served. Euston’s family have opted not to comment, but there is at least one lesson to be learned from this tragedy:
The bars that overserved Euston that fateful night – they know who they are – should be ashamed of themselves.