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Portola Valley man charged with manslaughter in fatal car crash

Original post made on Jun 17, 2008

Keith Benford Knudsen, 19, of Portola Valley is being charged with "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" in a June 12 car accident that seriously injured him and killed his passenger, Robert Lewis Wetzel, 19, of Redwood City, the Sheriff's Office reported Monday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 16, 2008, 3:13 PM

Comments (45)

Posted by Shane Weiss
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jun 17, 2008 at 11:54 am

I graduated with both Robert and Keith Knudsen. I also graduated with Anthony who was killed at the giants game. I was friends with them all.

This is a trajedy and should not be overlooked. I am scared to have kids now too, I understand slightly why parents are so worried all the time.

I feel terrible for all the relatives and friends. I remebmber playing on the same basketball team as keith as a kid, my dad was the coach. I remember getting Wetzel up to my house to introduce him to some girls and my group of friends. He played guitar all night for the party and i just remember noticing how innocent the kid was.

He was a good entertainer and just wanted friends. I think that's why he let keith drive, he wanted friends so bad. I saw that in him.

It's frustrating because those who know Robert know he never harmed anyone, anyone! I deserve to die more than Robert Wetzel, i mean, the kid was a class act. Well mannered, funny, down to earth, never hurt a fly!

I wish he was here, itd make my day. If there is a heaven, Wetzel is up there getting treated like a king. Ill never forget you bro. Jolly good fella Wetzel! Love ya Wetz, you too AG

Posted by Lucy Wetzel
a resident of Woodside High School
on Jun 17, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Robert loved people, so you bet he wanted friends! He loved meeting new people, The more the merrier. He just wanted everyone to be happy, and would do anything for them, regardless of what it was... He made me food all the time, picked me up when I needed a ride somewhere, He would even let me chose the songs we listened to in the car... but sometimes he didn't like my choice of music, and would put Jimi Hendrix or Ozzy on. It SUCKS having lost my older brother, because I have no one to take care of me anymore. I'm not suppose to be the oldest child, and now I'm going to take care of my little brother as well as do everything twice as good, because I have to take my Robbro into consideration, and well he did things very well.. Video Games, Golf, HE WAS AN AMAZING COOK, and I'll never be able to make food that good, EVER! He shouldn't be gone, and this should be a wakeup call to everyone: BE CAREFUL, because you never know, when something like this will happen.. REST IN PEACE BOB!! Love you bro

Posted by Marin Aldrich
a resident of Woodside High School
on Jun 17, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Robert just came to visit me at school two weeks ago when he came home for the summer and I'm so glad to have had the time to talk with him then. Much love to his family...He was a great guy and will certainly be missed.

Posted by All for justice
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Too bad the kid died. Maybe if he had made better choices he would not have been hanging around a guy charged with FELONY robbery and FELONY grand theft. He also should NEVER have gotten into a car with someone that was drunk in the first place. We all make decisions in life. This one cost the kid his life. Thank God [they] didn't kill an INNOCENT party in another vehicle.
Maybe this kid who survived can think about this for the rest of his life behind bars. What a stupid thing to do. Raised in affluence and committing robbery and theft. [Portion removed.] What a waste.

Posted by discusted
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jun 17, 2008 at 2:45 pm

All for justice hit the nail on the head. You want to drink? STAY want to drive? Call a CAB!! What a selfish, reckless and needless event to have happen. I am sick and tired of drunk drivers on our roads putting the rest of us law abiding people in harms way. No sympathy here. Good riddance to the criminal. May he get a very very very long sentence.May the guilt eat him alive. May all the people who suffered the loss of their friend learn from this and never ever drive under the influence of ANYTHING. Enough is Enough.

Posted by up to here
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 17, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Simple math people, drving under the influecne = death and destruction. Not complicated. No excuses for it either

Posted by N/A
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jun 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

This is just barbaric. How come the kid who made the decision to drive while drunk got to live while the one who didn't died. This was one of the most backwards moments of fate I have ever witnessed in this town. Well in this case, Keith can have a fate worse then death while he knows that because of him, a kid lost his life. [Portion removed.] To Rob, RIP you are in a better place and I hope you are looking down at the man who killed you and smiling at the misery he is having while he is in prison.

Posted by citizen of PV
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jun 17, 2008 at 4:01 pm

The drunk drivers always live. It is very rare that they ever die. Not fair to the kid who died and even more so for his poor family. But I agree with the above postings-at least an innocent person who was not in the car VOLUNTARILY did not get hit by this stupid kid who got behind the wheel while DUI. Shame on him. Shame on them both. Friends don't let friends drive drunk. Period. Ever. Under any circumstances.

Posted by CitizenS
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Jun 17, 2008 at 5:54 pm

For those posting comments such as those above, I would urge you to not make assumptions about carelessness as a result of affluence, especially if you have no personal knowledge of the individuals and their families. Both of these young men are good people who made a very bad decision. Please be reminded that unfortunately people (not just young people) make bad decisions all the time - and in rare, tragic cases such as this do something that has lasting consequences. Let those who have never made a bad decision in their lives cast the first stone...and meanwhile support BOTH families in our community who will deal with lasting repurcussions of this tragedy for years to come.

Posted by Linfield
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 17, 2008 at 6:37 pm

CitizenS - thank you for your insightful posting! I hope other people will learn something from it.

Posted by annoyed
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Jun 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm a guy who was on bail or two serious felonies. He already made those bad decisions. Then he makes another "decision" and gets into a vehicle under the influence, drives like a maniac and wraps his car around a tree killing his so called friend. He does not need any support. He needs a 6 by 8 cell for the rest of his life. Some of these liberal people are the reason why so many criminals are out and about endangering the lives of those of us who "choose" the right decision. The lesson here is clear: Do not drink and drive. Do not get into a car when someone has been drinking or using drugs. Do not allow someone you are with to drive when they are impaired. End of discussion.

Posted by laughing
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 17, 2008 at 7:21 pm

CitizenS you say not to make assumptions about affluence. That is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard. This was a "portola Valley spoiled kid" who was already in very serious trouble with the law. He was driving an "affluent" car (newer model BMW!!) He thumbed his nose at the law and killed his passenger. Nothing else needs to be said. If it was MY son, I can tell you this: He would not have had access to my vehicle (I am willing to bet the BMW was NOT in his name) and he certainly would not have been out at all hours driving drunk and killing someone.

Posted by N/A
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jun 17, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Although I have to say that the decision to consume alcohol under-age then make the decision to get behind the wheel was a decision that should be shown no remorse under the eyes of the law, I do question the motive of the drivers affluence. While no one is perfect, bad decisions are common in most which just doesn't apply to affluent people. Looking at Keith, as a person I have known for quite some time I believe that his personality played a huge part in his motive. Keith showed many symptoms of having a narcissistic personality which basically means that he does everything to boost his ego which in this case means showing the victim that he could in fact handle driving while drunk. While this is not a fact I strongly agree this was a major factor that is based on the many years I have known Keith.

Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2008 at 7:43 am

And Woodside people complain about bicyclists being dangerous.....

Posted by furious
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 18, 2008 at 9:25 am

To N/A: Keith may have displayed "narcissistic" behavior as you pointed out. Maybe he was showing off how fast he could drive while impaired. The bottom line here is this: Driving is a PRIVILEDGE not a right. When you are rolling around in a 3000lb deadly weapon there is a huge responsibility to use common sense and not put your passenger, other innocent drivers and their passengers and even yourself in danger of getting seriously hurt or killed (in this case BOTH). Driving recklessly and/or under the influence is just simply NOT O.K. Was kieth "showing off" when he committed armed robbery and grand theft? I think not. Was he showing off just prior to crashing his BMW in Portola Valley? Probably not. He was drunk and or high and his inhibitions were lowered. Just his age alone makes him think he is indestructable. Or was this kid suffering a total lack of respect for the law and our judicial system. Out on bail for two felonies and driving very fast and under the influence. Thumbing his nose at all the laws on the books. He knew the conditions he was under being out on bail! Maybe, just maybe, one kid will think before getting inot a car with a D.U.I driver or make the decision to call a cab or friend if they themselves are impaired. That would turn this totally avoidable manslaughter incident into something a bit positive.

Posted by Jake Houle
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm

my cousin robert was a good kid, always had something nice to say, and would always talk about memories of him and i when we were young. alls robert ever wanted was to make sure every one was having a good time. now he is gone. And keith witch i have known for years is behind bars for i hope the rest of his life because of carelessness.


Posted by Facts not assumptions
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Jun 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

It is my understanding that the BMW did not belong to the driver but to the victim. So people's assumption about affluence and the BMW do not fly in this case.
It is a sad story all around and it is very well plausible that both kids made bad decisions that night.

Posted by N/A
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jun 18, 2008 at 4:58 pm

How do you plead not guilty in this case. The facts are clear, Keith was in the driver seat at the scene of the crash. It is always the drivers fault when something happens. Even though Rob wanted to go home and wanted Keith to drive, Keith should have declined to drive. Thats what anyone with a brain would do. If I was there I would have thrown the keys in the bushes better to have someone pissed at me then to risk injury or death. Also if Keith is blaming his decision on Rob then why did he choose to go 80 mph on Portola. I would assume that you would want to go under the speed limit if not under 10mph so that when you swerve you can correct yourself. Keith should have just pleaded guilty and accepted that it was his fault entirely so that it saves everyone time and money to go through a whole trial.

Posted by common sense
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 18, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Ah but nooo...instead he and his slimy attorney plead "not guilty". This way he can see what kind of a plea bargain the District Attorney will offer him. Remember...this is all about him. He blames the dead passenger...gotta laugh at that one. Dead boys don't talk. What a total arrogent jerk.

Posted by mcw
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2008 at 9:51 pm

Hopefully all that hear of this tragedy learn the painful lesson. When you get in a car with someone, ask yourself, "Can I trust this person with my life"? We don't know why Robert let Keith drive his car. He was a people pleasing kid and only wanted people to be happy, he likely didn't realize the condition Keith was in. He was a loyal longtime friend of Keith even after warnings from his family. He wasn't a spoiled kid. Don't believe anything Keith says. [Portion removed by Almanac staff] He will get what's coming to him.

Posted by Not Important
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2008 at 1:17 pm

This is sad, and even more so disgusting. This guy drives his friends care under the influence, gets in an accident, kills his friend, and still doesn't take responsibility? I, for one, have NO sympathy for a kid like that. It's not for me to judge but this kid will get what is coming to him. Robert seemed like a very nice person and I know there was a good reason for him to make a desicion like that. Sadly it cost him his life, but Keith will have a far worse one, I'm sure. Having this guilt and shame eat him up for the rest of his life. He betrayed the memory of his friend for his own selfish reasons and hopefully will spend a life behind bars to think about what he's done. Robert, may you rest in peace and may god bless your soul. I know you're watching over all of us, and I'm sorry it was you. Just know this Keith, you took a friend, a brother, and a great person from all of our lives.

Posted by Not A Lawyer
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I wouldn't blame the kid for the not guilty plea. I am sure that he was told to plead not guilty by his lawyer. That allows the lawyer to bargain for some deals. If he pleads guilty the lawyer is out of a job. On the other hand a guilty plea saves the court system a lot of money and saves all parties involved a lot of grief. That is not a lawyer's concern, though, only getting the best deal for the client.

Regardless of the outcome, many lives have been ruined by a few minutes of reckless behavior.

Posted by Concerned community member
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 19, 2008 at 8:30 pm

This is a horrible tragedy all the way around. I feel terrible for RObert's family and friends, and I know that nothing that happens to Keith or that Keith says or does will ever bring Robert back. And I also know this: Keith's family is a good one, through and through. I know them personally and I know they have worked hard to bring this young man into adulthood on the right track. They were devoted to trying to help a son with some serious cognitive challenges that significantly amplified the impulsiveness and poor decision-making present in most adolescents. But, even with the best of efforts, kids go astray sometimes, and it's always easier to judge them when they're not your own, when they're not the ones you did homework with and drove to Boy Scouts and taught how to fish.

There is little that is black or white in this world: to villify Keith or his family or the community he grew up in is to do so in ignorance of all the history and individual details that came together to create the backdrop of this tragedy. Painting Keith as bad through and through does not accurately represent what really happened here: a troubled young man who was trying to establish himself on the right path made an abysmally bad decision that killed his best friend.

Keith will bear the burden of his friend's death for the rest of his life, and he will pay appropriately within our legal system for the bad judgments he made. Let that be enough, and let us turn instead to trying to figure out how we can work together as a community to raise our boys, including those who make mistakes and bad judgments, to be responsible men.

Posted by Not Important
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Oh, so wait (this is all directed to Concerned Community Member), it's perfectly okay that he made this bad desicion because he was a good kid when he wasn't making dumb desicions? That makes sense. Yup if you kill someone but you're an overall great guy it's not fair to judge them as complete and utter idiots who don't deserve a damn thing but punishment. No matter what kind of connections you had with him and his family, he was a stupid kid for doing what he did. Nothing will EVER change that. I hope the guilt eats him up for the rest of his life, thats what this kid deserves.

Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 20, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Dear Not Important - Things that happen may look to you like a black-and-white world where everything can be assigned a value of either right or wrong. It's possible that events will appear as black-and-white to you for a long time. Who knows?

In any case, it's not true. Most of what happens occurs within a range of possibilities that are pushed this way or that by many factors. This is why we have the legal system that we have, though it is imperfect. There are so many ways to look at an event, so many completely legitimate and vitally different filters to look through.

Put yourself in the shoes of the parents in this situation. Imagine how they feel, imagine what thy've gone through over the years in raising their kids, imagine the futures they hoped for for their children, imagine how the kids themselves struggled to make it through high school -- a situation just brimming with conflicts and confusion that leaves some people scarred for life.

It's more complex than you are setting it out to be. Compassion, a rare reaction in any age, is what is called for here.

Posted by HillbillyHell
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 21, 2008 at 1:17 am

Since when is a thirteen year old car a "late model car"?

Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:05 am

My condolences to the family of the deceased. Thank GOD there were no innocent victims. Lock him up!

Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:06 am

... forever!

Posted by hoping
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:08 am

I hope I get picked to sit on this jury!!!! Hang him high

Posted by Somebody
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2008 at 12:14 am

THEY made a stupid decision; as in both boys, not just Keith. It is a tragedy that it ended with Robert's life being taken away. Keith will live with the guilt his entire life. With his two prior felonies, it is clear that he was troubled already. I'm not at all saying he should be let off easy, but I am saying that spewing hate toward this KID (because, let's face it, that's what he is) won't bring Robert back or stop drunk driving accidents. There is a way to say "I hope he doesn't get off and gets locked up for good" without saying "What scum, he should be hanged." That hatred is just unnecessary. The kid needs help, and I hope he gets it while serving time. I hope Keith's family is doing okay. My heart goes out to Robert's family - I hope they mend as best as they can through this tragic ordeal. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Patti Fry
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 22, 2008 at 1:42 pm

This is a tragedy all the way around, and my heart goes out to everyone affected. People of all ages can make short-sighted decisions and they can be careless, usually without major consequence.

Rather than point out all the things that went wrong in this horrific situation or to seek vengeance, I urge every teen and every parent to become aware of the local Safe Ride program, now in its 23rd year, operated by the local Red Cross to help prevent tragic situations like this through education and avoidance.

According to the website: "Run both for and by high school students, Safe Ride provides free and confidential rides home for teens as an alternative to driving or riding in a dangerous situation. The program runs out of the Palo Alto Area Chapter every Friday and Saturday night during the school year, from 10 pm to 1:30 am. Student volunteers answer the toll-free telephone line (1-877-753-RIDE), and a two-person driving team picks up passengers in a Red Cross vehicle.

The Pick up and Drop off Service Area includes Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Moffett Field, Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, Redwood City."

It could be the life of someone you know and love that can be saved.

Posted by Mama
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jun 24, 2008 at 10:25 am

Thanks, Patty, for bringing a constructive perspective to this thread.

Teens have poor impulse control and it's up to parents to use horrible events like this one to talk to their children -- often -- about the consequences of drinking, and to establish a contingency plan that will keep kids out of vehicles when the driver has been drinking.

a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm



Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jun 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Grew up in PV. Graduated Woodside High in '78. Nothing new here, sadly. Nobody should be shocked, that's for sure. Rich, poor or other, high school kids drink, smoke pot, snort coke, etc and and then drive hither and thither in search of girls or guys or food or more parties. Been that way for years. Just amazing more kids don't die. Not saying they deserve it...just many of us are just plain lucky to have made it through those years. The lesson? Parents, do your best to make your kids aware of the dangers, then cross your fingers or pray or do whatever gets you through. Most of them will be OK...but every year a few of them lose the gamble. Kids, take it from someone who was right there...have fun, but be very careful. You really do want to live. Enogh said...Happy trails, all!

Posted by The Grim Reaper
a resident of another community
on Jun 25, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Many blame things like this on me.

Truth is it's my old friend Lady Luck who's behind this one. I just come for you when it's your time to go.

Do you really think this was the first time these boys had risked it all for a night of "fun"? I promise you, it wasn't. Luck ran out for them both.

Which just leaves one question: how far are YOU going to push YOUR luck?

Bottom line - you take stupid chances, you just might live to regret it. (Or, worse...)

Posted by Beth Polash
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jul 6, 2008 at 1:32 am

HOnestly, Robert was a great guy.. u'd never hear anyone say a damn thing wrong about him.

At his service many showed... with sorrow in their eyes that such a thing could have happened.
It offends me that people would waste their time writing on this forum to say such crude comments about both the men in the incident. I knew em. Keith more. Not to say i'd hold his back on this.. but think about if you were in the situation.. things happen and a lotta things happed that night that most of us are still tryna figure out. Keiths payin with time.. and the idea of loosing sucha close friend.His fault.. he has to live with the guilt of that every day..Which is a pain none of us could even imagine feeling.

I send my wishes out to everyone...

Robert was a great guy.. but it wasn't just keith who made the decision.
Its sad to see that Anthony died.. then Robert...

So young.

Please stop leaving messages just to make more damage...
its upsetting to already feel the pain of having a friend, who never did you wrong be responsible for such a terrible thing..
understand that.And know that no matter what Robert will NEVER be forgotten... his love was great and his spirits still with us..

Everyone know an old.. "remeber when bob ..." story will always bring smiles to our faces.
Even if you didn't know him well...

R.I.P Robert

Posted by Chris Knudsen
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Aug 24, 2008 at 10:37 am

As the brother of Keith I believe that I have the right to stand up to you all, did Keith make mistakes, yes. We all agree to that, even Keith himself. Now, I met Rob, Rob was a very influential person on all of the people he knew. Now, I believe that posting wild accusations at him is not the way to deal with this tragedy. Wishing he would have died, now that is not cool and considered a threat. Now, if you want to talk dirt about my brother, go through me. This is not the way to deal with a situation none of you really know about. I agree with all of you that what Keith did was wrong. But people in this country were taught (at least the people who paid attention) to help people like Keith, and to support him. THAT is a GENUINE PERSON. Someone who doesn't give up. Support Keith because he needs it. Posting these hurtful messages not only hurts Keith but it hurts the TRUE PEOPLE around him and Rob. BE GENUINE PEOPLE NOT HATEFUL ONES!! Support.

Posted by Duck
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm

A couple things:

This easily could have been anyone of us. For all you ignorant labelers, tell me this: how many times have you left a restaurant after a "harmless" glass of wine. We all know your wives have low tolerances. Stop and think about it, you are all putting assumptions on people you dont even know. I grew up with Keith and knew Rob through brief expriences. Yes, you are all right, Keith made terrible decisions and has ever since I knew him. He grew up with learning disabilities and for the longest time felt he needed to prove something. When your a kid proving things means something completely different (i.e getting money etc.). Who cares if he was affluent, there are plenty of hard working parents who make a lot of money, that neglect their kids and dont help them in a time of need.

My parents are plenty wealthy and I screwed up as kid. I robbed a house, I robbed a kid, I sold pot, and wasted my parents money. Go ahead and tell me I am terrible, but you know what I am not. My parents (having nothing to do with affluence, despite hating each others guts) worked together to help me. They did intensive research and worked with me to get my life back on track (despite chemo treatments as well).

SO what I am saying is dont judge regarding affluence. Second chances matter. I am not saying Keith shouldnt be in jail, but dont be so quick to judge, especially Rob. We have all hung out with bad people at some point. A second chance gave me the opportunity to go to college and not divulge into worse drugs.

Bashing liberals is not a way to get a point across either. Rob I didnt know you very well but RIP, and may your friends and family find peace.

Keith, I hope you spend some quality time in prison thinking about your mistakes. I could of been where you are if I hadnt gotten swept up in time by some needed help. When you get out, you will have difficult times as well, but if you can figure out how to make mistakes and challenges into opportunities then you will find success.

RIP Andrew James Perrin. I love you man and I wish I could have done more for you.

Posted by Patti
a resident of Woodside High School
on Sep 30, 2008 at 9:51 pm

so tragic. no friends, no family, no live body, no one person, standing by Keith as he faces the courtroom, judge and jury. How appropriate to look at this 19 year old and realize that he has stood alone for quite some time, that he sits in that seat facing his future... alone.

Posted by CitizenTaxpayer
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Oct 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm

They damn well better not give him some slap on the wrist plea deal. This waste of space should have perished in the crash. The only way to make it right is for him to never see the light of day again. The things that will happen to him in prison are some consolation. Don't forget about his parents. They created this worthless human vermin and let it loose to hurt and kill innocent people. Robbing elderly people? The Parents are the most culpable of all. Have no mercy people, or maybe YOUR kid or loved one will be the next one to die.

If you don't press for maximum prosecution then you are asking for more innocent people to be hurt or killed.


CitizenTaxpayer and someone who's wife and children use this road.

Makes me sick. The parents of this monster make me sick.

Posted by Chris Knudsen
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Oct 12, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Dear Citizen taxpayer,

Your attacks on my family and my brother is nothing more than ignorant remarks. First of all, the parents of this "monster" (which I may add you HAVE NO IDEA WHO THEY ARE) are kind and loving people who still love Keith (which is what any parent pledges to themselves when they have a child) to this day. Yes he made a mistake, we all agree on that, and so does Keith, I know this YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE. Your uneducated rhetoric of this trash is unacceptable. And I am proud to be a Knudsen and I love my brother. Don't get me wrong, i am a strong believer of justice and I do believe that justice will be served just like it has been since the creation of this country. Keith will get what he deserves, and you and your ideology have no place in this world. Our family is a successful and dedicated family and based on this ill-mannered and foul account of what you think you know you don't have the slightest idea of what ANYONE is going through who is involved in this situation (on either side). Now please take all this time you have posting this uneducated filth and get lost. Your attitude is out of line and hateful directly towards my family and especially myself.

Posted by Famous650
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2008 at 5:24 pm

My father in law was killed by a Drunk Driver and my children will never have a grandfather.
It is soooo sad that this young kid lost his life
But it is also sad that the young kid behind the wheel will never have a chance of life either.
I hope Lady Justice really does the job and use this for all kids as an example.
My heart goes out to both families they all have to deal with pain of loosing a loved one, one who will always be watching over them from heaven and another who will be doing life in prison.. His parents will be right there also doing the time with him.
This is just a sad situation that happened

Posted by Alexandra
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Apr 24, 2009 at 12:43 am

Hey, CitizenTaxpayer- you're an ignorant and pathetic individual
Chris (Keith's brother)- Thanks for standing up for Keith in this've you been? long time no talk!

Because I dated Keith for 2 years right before the accident, I knew him better than anyone else (not including the family). I also spent most of my time with Keith's best friend, Rob, and I love both of them very much. Keith is NOT a bad guy, and all you people saying "oh he should get life in prison, he's a monster, blah blah blah" you clearly don't even KNOW either of them, so why are you posting on this page anyways? Do you REALLY not have anything better to do than write paragraphs of hateful slur about some kid you DON'T EVEN KNOW? Get a life, seriously. Go drive around in your little Priuses and live your perfect world, because YOU'RE PERFECT, right?! You don't even know the story behind the theft and robbery charges you morons. Keith was an idiot sometimes and even though i told him to stay away from his loser Redwood City friends, he still managed to get caught up when one of his low-life friends robbed the dude at Chuck's Donuts...Keith was just there and because he didn't do anything to stop his friend, he was charged too. I suggest that to all you who don't know the full story and details, don't talk smack.

Keith messed up big time, and he IS suffering and will suffer with the guilt for as long as he lives. But I KNOW that when he gets out of prison, he's going to live a sober & productive life. Although we aren't together anymore, I always have and always will wish the best for him. It broke my heart to hear the tragic news, and seeing him in the hospital the next morning was just the icing on the cake. He knows he's hurt countless people, and when he gets out I know he's going to do anything he can to change the world for the better.

Rob- I miss you and all your funny stories. You always made me feel better whenever Keith and I would get into a fight, or things were crazy at home. I swear I can feel you watching over me during times when I need it most, like when I'm driving alone, at night, or when I'm out partying. Not one day goes by that I don't think about you, and what could've become of you. I still cry sometimes when I think about the times we had, but when I was looking at old pictures today, I saw the one of you and Keith and I couldn't help but smile. You always had that effect on me.

Oh yeah, and to Woodside High School Staff whoever you are: Keith is NOT alone, and there are a ton of people who love him. You're probably just some senile, bitter teacher who Keith had & you didn't like him for whatever reason.

& Keith- I know things weren't so hunky-dory when we spoke last on the phone, but I want you to know I still care about you, and like I've said many a time, I always will. I want to come see you, but I don't want to upset you. I will definitely come see you before your sentencing (Which i read is on May 26?). Much love always,

Posted by Professor Pat
a resident of another community
on Jun 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Poor Keith, the son of perhaps the world's preeminent neurobiologist, and he could barely write a legible sentence in wonder he thought he always had to be "proving something"...even under the best of circumstances, he had a tough row to hoe in this it will truly be a miracle if he can salvage anything from this tragedy.

Posted by Neill Kenmuir
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I am Irish but came across this item by accident when following another link. It made me sad to learn of promising young lives needlessly wasted in this way. Unfortunately I have to say that I was shocked by the vindictiveness, ignorance, negativity and and lack of compassion from some of the respondents. Clearly this was a tragedy for all concerned and there is no punishment which can be inflicted upon Keith that will be able to bring back Robert from the dead. I know nothing directly about the personalities of the two young men involved but must assume from the above testimonials from their friends that they were normal teenage men just beginning on their adult paths in life. I am sure the sentence Keith received may seem too lenient to some but I am heartened by the fact that Robert Wetzel's family had written to the judge forgiving Keith and asking that his sentence include no time in prison and no fines. I wish the Wetzel family all the best in coping with the pain of their loss over time and I hope that Keith can find a meaningful and positive future when he leaves prison. It will not be simple.

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