- The Washington Times - Friday, June 3, 2005

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A judge is holding the owner of a production company responsible for contributing to the death last September of a motorcyclist who crashed into a parked vehicle while riding bare-bottom and trying to pull a wheelie.

District Court Judge Frederick Bower said Thursday the death of Shaun Paul Matlock, 21, might never have occurred had not a camera been present.

“Filming was a major part of their plan,” Judge Bower said in finding Ben Meacham, 23, guilty of two misdemeanors — reckless driving and negligent driving. Each charge included a $500 fine.

Meacham, the owner of Holding It Big productions, was in a vehicle filming Mr. Matlock and a friend racing around Frederick on a Sunday afternoon, performing various stunts while wearing only tennis shoes, T-shirts and helmets.

Prosecutor Kirsten Brown said Meacham orchestrated the stunts, then destroyed the tape immediately after the crash.

Meacham said Mr. Matlock told him that he was going to do the “naked” ride because it was his last day with the bike.

Mr. Matlock was behind in his payments and scheduled to surrender his motorcycle the next day so he wanted to do something unusual on what he called his last ride, according to testimony.

Though Meacham declined the offer to ride with Mr. Matlock, he agreed to film the stunt.

Meacham said his friend, Mr. Matlock, was “broken up” about having to return the motorcycle.

Some witnesses described Mr. Matlock as “a prankster” who usually rode his motorcycle “recklessly,” pulling wheelies and other stunts on the highways.

Brandon Edwards of Ijamsville, who was riding a motorcycle alongside Mr. Matlock, was fined $1,000 in November after pleading guilty to indecent exposure and negligent driving.

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